Saturday, August 8, 2009
West Papua Mine Killings
Wet Papua – competition between Indonesian military and Police the genesis of recent killings
Central Highlands of Papua.
The latest violence, which has claimed the lives of an Australian and two policemen, is the worst since three teachers , including two Americans were killed in the same area in 2002.
The latest shootings all took place over the same road as in the 2002 incident. The shootings ended only after the Special Forces (Kopassus) troops from Jayapura and Merauke arrived.
Speculation that much of the violence is connected with the struggle for control over the illegal gold-mining activities which has been under the control of elements of the police and military. It is estimated that some 10,000 illegal miners and their dependants are now living off the rock tailings, from the world's most profitable mine.