The Indonesian military is using the same tactics of terror in West Papua that were employed during its bloody reign in East Timor, and Australia should step in to mediate a peace settlement, warns separatist Herman Wainggai. Mr Wainggai, the leader of the 43 asylum-seekers who arrived in Australia two weeks ago, said ongoing abuses by the Indonesian military, often in cahoots with militias, were terrifying the indigenous community. "It's the same as with East Timor," he told the Herald yesterday from Christmas Island, where the asylum-seekers are being processed by immigration officials. "They have created militias and jihadis in West Papua. The people, and especially activists for independence, are very scared." The military and police regularly raided campuses and villages searching for independence sympathisers, while Indonesia's intelligence network kept constant tabs on their activities, Mr Wainggai said.
Jailed twice for his political activism, Mr Wainggai said he had no faith in the promise by the Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, that, if they returned home, the Papuans would face no reprisals. Many such promises had been made in the past, he said, and bitter experience meant they could not be accepted at face value. "We don't trust Indonesia," he said. "If I was sent back to Indonesia, I would die. The Government and the military treats West Papuans like animals. They have killed us like animals."
¿Alguien ha oído alguna protesta sobre esto? "Indonesia ha creado jihadis y milicias en Papúa Oeste. La gente, y especialmente los activistas a favor de la independencia, están muy asustados. Los militares y la policía regularmente han atacado pueblos buscando a los simpatizantes de la independencia, mientras la red de inteligencia de Indonesia ha mantenido un constante control sobre nuestras actividades".