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West Papuan Refugees Deported

Papuans DON'T WANT TO BE REMOVED from their Base:

Latest Report from West Papua Refugee Camp, Vanimo PNG

By WPNews

Sep 28, 2004, 19:08

WPNews received a confirmed information from the field that the West Papuan Refugees who are forced by the PNG government to be removed from their current base in Vanimo, PNG are refusing to be removed to East Awin camp. The reason is still the same: The area is strongly under the Indonesian influence. Experience does teach that most of the leaders who were settled there either died or bought off by the Indonesian agents.

They said, "We are watching the airplane chartered by the PNG government is landing and waiting for us to go there. But no one is going there. We wait until they come and pick us up one by one. From there will will see what happens."

The meaning of "From there, we will see what happens" is that they want to fight anyone that is paid by Indonesia to come and remove them away from their own Papua Soil. They do not want to compromise or surrender with the order from Jakarta for the re-location of the refugees.

"The airplane has been there since yesterday (27 September 2004, which is the day the PNG government has promised to remove them from Vanimo), but they are taking no one out from here," says a leader.

The Governor and Police Commander as well as the Army Commander in Vanimo are defending the West Papuan Refugees. Both Police Commander and the Governor right now are in Port Moresby, the country's capital. While the army commander is with them, to see whether bribed officials from the Central Government is capable of removing them.

No one really knows exactly whether these army and police officers are really helping the refugees, but our field correspondent confirmed they are willing to help them stay where they are now. They even ordered the refugees to hide in the bush during this week.

Border crossers in PNG refuse to return

By HelloPacific

Sep 28, 2004, 18:12

Government authorities Papua New Guinea (PNG) are negotiating with West Papuan border crossers on the possibility of relocating them to the East Awin Refugee Camp in the Western Province.

NBC News reports that 300 border crossers were granted refugee status in March this year by the National Government and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. They were to begin moving to their new homes today but many of them are refusing to relocate.

The border crossers, mostly from the Wamena area within the Indonesian side of the border, fled their villages at the height of tensions between the military and the OPM rebels in 2000.

A chartered Airlines PNG aircraft arrived in Vanimo last night, to transport border crossers to their new homes.

Last week, a Foreign Affairs spokesman said the transfer was on a voluntary basis, but individuals refusing to leave would be deemed an illegal border crosser, and will later be handled by appropriate authorities.

Original article in West Papua News


Radio Australia September 30, 2004

The Papua New Guinea government says more than 300 West Papuan refugees have agreed to settle voluntarily in East Awin, in the Indonesian province.

The Inter-government Relations Minister, Sir Peter Barter, says the relocation was hampered when the border crossers refused to board a chartered plane from Vanimo, in the Sandaun province, to East Awin.

Barter says the first group was moved to East Awin this week.

He says the 370 border crossers have been living in the Vanimo Transmitter camp in PNG's Sandaun province since 2000.

They have agreed to join the other crossers who have been granted refugee status are in East Awin in Western province.

The government had earlier planned to repatriate them but it failed; the first 100 were relocated in Kiunga and the other 270 are to join them later this week.

Meanwhile, Barter says they will be able to apply for residency after six months in East Awin.

fPcN's article on the deportation.