Indonesian police says killed Papuan rebel commander

Indonesian police on Wednesday said they had killed a leader of Papua's main separatist group in the remote easternmost part of the country.

Indonesian police says killed Papuan rebel commander

Indonesian police on Wednesday said they had killed a leader of Papua's main separatist group in the remote easternmost part of the country.

Kelly Kwalik, the highest commander of the Free Papua Movement (OPM), was killed by police in a raid in Timika, Papua, on Wednesday morning, Papua police spokesman Agus Rianto said.

The OPM has waged a low-level insurgency for almost four decades seeking independence in Indonesia's resources-rich extreme.

Kwalik's death could potentially improve prospects for talks between the wider separatist movement in Papua and the government, said Damien Kingsbury, an expert on Indonesia at Australia's Deakin University.

Kwalik "is the most militant of the senior OPM figures," said Kingsbury. "If he's taken out, that might make it easier for the rest of the organisation to negotiate in good faith. It would also diminish claims of an insurgency."

Crowds gathered in Timika, demanding that police display the body of the dead man so that he could be identified.

Papua was incorporated into Indonesia under a U.N.-backed vote in 1969, after Jakarta took over the area in 1963.


Reuters

Last Mod: 16 Aralık 2009, 11:48
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