Mathias Wenda to be deported from PNG

JAYAPURA, Irian Jaya (JP): The Papua New Guinea government will deport some 30 to 40 Irianese border crossers, including Free Papua Movement (OPM) separatist leader Mathias Wenda and his assistant Simon Alum, the Indonesian consul for Papua New Guinea said on Wednesday.

Wisnu T. Mahendra said the Papua New Guinea government had filed no legal charges against the illegal border crossers, who will be handed to Indonesian authorities to face legal processing.

""The ties between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea are close and are not affected by the rising insurgency in Irian Jaya. The deportations prove that they trust that we will take the necessary measures,"" Wisnu told reporters after meeting with Irian Jaya Governor JP Solossa.

A source in the Irian Jaya Police said the Irianese would be handed over to Indonesian authorities on Friday in Wotung village, about two kilometers by car from Jayapura, the capital of Irian Jaya province.

Mobile Brigade police personnel are scheduled to accompany the entourage of provincial administration officials to pick up the deported Irianese.

Irian Jaya has seen growing separatist sentiment, with rebel groups often crossing the border into Papua New Guinea to flee security forces in Indonesia.

However, the neighboring country has officially announced that it has no intention of interfering with issues concerning Indonesian separatists and stressed that it would not tolerate trespassers.

The police source also said that apart from being charged with subversion, Mathias Wenda could be charged with killing migrant settlers in 1997 and 2001.

Simon Alum will be charged with, among other things, the beating of a reporter and a cameraman of private Indosiar television station in late 2000. (34/emf)


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