West Papuans call for help

More than 150 West Papuans have sought refuge across the PNG-Indonesia border in Western Province, claiming to have fled following intimidation by the Indonesian military.

The group includes men, women and children.

The West Papuans, from Boven Digoel village, are currently in North Fly District.

Pictures of the West Papuans who crossed over were shared with this newsroom by a reliable source on ground.

Michael Pius said the people began crossing the border in November.

Pius, who is from a mixed parentage of Western Province and West Papua, said their safety in West Papua was not guaranteed because state security cannot protect them.

He said they felt their lives were in danger and so fled across the border.

Pius is now calling on the international community to help them.

Meanwhile, Minister for Defence, Saki Soloma, said he is not aware of what has occurred, but will advise the PNGDF Commander and Secretary for Defence to look into it.

(By Jim John - third year UPNG Journalism student)

Jim John