JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – International support for the ongoing insurgency in Indonesia’s Papua province is highlighted once again, after authorities in Indonesia and the government of Papua New Guinea are jointly investigating a video showing Papua New Guinean citizens supporting the rebels.
The video showed a number of armed men in military fatigues who stated their support for the Papuan insurgents, which the Indonesian government labeled Armed Insurgent Groups or KKB. The men in the undated video claimed that they were from the Papua New Guinea province of East Sepik.
Indonesian Ambassador to Papua New Guinea Andriana Supandy urged Indonesian nationals in the country to remain calm and not be provoked by the video.
The video will not affect good bilateral relations [between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea] under a 1986 [treaty] signed by both countries,” Andriana in a press release quoted by the Antara state news agency Saturday.
“The Papua New Guinea government respects Indonesia’s sovereignty over its territory, and regards the issues in Papua and West Papua [provinces] as internal matters.”
Papua New Guinea officials reiterated Andriana. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Soroi Eoe MP deplored the video, and viewed the statement of those in the video as a “criminal act.”
The Commander of the Papua New Guinea Armed Forces Major General Gilbert Toropo agreed. “The actions of the persons in the video can be categorized as treason, as they claimed to form an armed force outside the Papua New Guinea military,” he said.
Toropo added that the Papua New Guinea government will take legal action against those in the video. Papua New Guinea officials are currently launching investigations in East Sepik to determine if the parties behind the video pose a security threat.