Asia-Pacific

Papuan rebels demand independence talks

Indonesian troops prepare to be deployed to Nduga district where suspected separatists shot dead dozens of workers at a field in Wamena, Papua. Source: AAP

The spokesman for the West Papua National Liberation Army, Sebby Sambom says Indonesia must negotiate on granting the province self-determination.

Rebels in Indonesia's troubled Papua province are demanding the government hold negotiations on granting the province self-determination.

The spokesman for the West Papua National Liberation Army, Sebby Sambom, said on Friday they attacked a government construction site last weekend because they believe the project is being carried out by the Indonesian military.

0:00
Security forces in Papua hunt for group behind reported mass killing of workers
Security forces in Papua hunt for group behind reported mass killing of workers

He called for the government to agree to peace talks similar to ones that led to another province, Aceh, becoming semi-autonomous, or a "real referendum" on independence as occurred in the former Indonesian territory of East Timor.

Authorities say the attacks on Sunday, which killed 19 construction workers, were one of the bloodiest by separatists who have battled Indonesian rule in the region for half a century.

A soldier at a military post near the site was also shot.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch