The Papuan separatists are Christian Melanesians. They comprise three quarters of Western New Guinea’s population. The other slightly less than a quarter are Muslims from the rest of Indonesia. Indonesia annexed the western half of New Guinea in 1962.
A member of an armed separatist group in Indonesia’s Papua region has disputed police claims that it’s holding villagers hostage during a standoff with security forces.
Attacks by the National Liberation Army of West Papua on paramilitary police in the past month have killed one officer and wounded six others. The two sides are also waging a PR war, with police calling the group an armed criminal gang.
Hendrik Wanmang, who described himself as a commander, said in an interview Friday that Banti and Kimbeli villagers can’t go to an area the separatists define as a battlefield because it’s unsafe but otherwise are free to go to their farms and move about.
From CIW NEWS Contributor
Timika, West Papua, Indonesia
Indonesia (ID) is estimated to have a population of 260.6 million with a growth rate during 2010-2015 of 1.3% pa.
At the same rate of change, in five years' time its population will increase by 17.4 million.