Indonesian pair detained in PNG near border

The Indonesian consulate in Vanimo, Papua New Guinea, says that two Indonesian citizens are being detained in a village near the two countries' common border.

While it remains unclear who is detaining the pair, they are being held in the Skouw area, with Indonesian media reporting that the information has been relayed by PNG defence force personnel.

The Jakarta Post reports the Indonesian Consul in Vanimo, Elmar Lubi, as saying two men aged 28 and 30, who work in the logging sector, were captured on Wednesday while working in Skofro hamlet in Indonesia's Kerom regency.

Another Indonesian woodcutter was reportedly shot during the incident in which the men were captured, but was not taken into detention and is now in hospital in Jayapua.

CNN Indonesia reports that the Indonesian authorities are working with the PNGDF to secure the pair's release.

The incident comes as almost a thousand Indonesian soldiers have been newly dispatched to maintain the border region.

Suara Pembaruan reports that the 950 soldiers from two battalions are being deployed to this part of Papua province on a nine-month assignment rotation.

Among their assigned duties are to guard the sovereignty of the Republic of Indonesia, and to prevent illegal logging in the region.

Jakarta commits to development in Papua border region

Meanwhile, Indonesia's government, through the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development and Transmigration, has reportedly earmarked around 40 million US dollars for border development in Papua province.

Tabloid Jubi reports that the money will be used to build facilities in regions located mainly along the border with Papua New Guinea for the period of 2016-2019.

The general-director of the Ministry of Development of Specific Areas and Rural Development and Transmigration, Suprayoga Hadi says the regions concerned include the provincial capital Jayapura as well as Keerom, Pegunungan Bintang and Merauke regencies.

Mr Suprayoga says the funds will be used for infrastructure development projects such as road and dock constructions in the border areas.

He indicated that the government is in the process of identifying the needs and aspirations of local communities in each regency in order to make best use of the development funds.