By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
MILITARY officials from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea have finally resolved three outstanding cases caused by Indonesian and PNG Defence Force soldiers along the southern part of the PNG-Indonesian border, PNGDF officer Col Eddie Yodu said yesterday.
Colonel Yodu, the co-chair of the joint PNG-Indonesian security meeting, said that they had solved the outstanding cases where the Indonesian navy mistakenly built a jetty in PNG territory in 2010 while PNGDF soldiers mistakably removed an Indonesian flag in Indonesian territory in August 2015.
“We have identified that PNGDF soldiers have mistakenly built an international border marker (MM14 B) away from its original 141 meridian position at the Torassi River,” he said.
“The original marker had got washed away by the flood in 2011. The soldiers had built a replacement marker without consulting the PNG and Indonesian joint technical sub-committee on border survey and demarcation (JTCS). So a new marker has to be built where the original marker had been, but under the supervision of the JTCS.”
Yodu said the mistakes along the border were pointed out during last Wednesday’s sub-committee on security meeting in Port Moresby.
“We have made known to the Indonesians that they have built a jetty about 22 metres into our territory at the Torassi River in South Fly District, Western province. That jetty was built on our side for their marines to access their naval post. But the naval post was in their side. So the Indonesians have been advised to remove the jetty and build it on their side,” he said.
Yodu said that according to the basic PNG-Indonesian Border Agreement, a country has to notify another country of their intention to build an infrastructure along the border.
“So in this instance, Indonesia has not notified us that they will build this jetty along the border”.
Yodu added that the PNG Government needed to send a diplomatic apology note to the Indonesian government for the incident.
“The PNGDF soldiers had crossed the border and went about 2km into Indonesian territory to remove an Indonesian flag at Yakyu village.
“The PNGDF soldiers have removed the flag claiming that the village is in PNG territory.
“The PNGDF soldiers had claimed that the village is in PNG side after seeing an old and misleading border sign near the village. The sign was in Bahasa Indonesia and English saying that you are now at the border. However the official border marker (MM13) was 2km away.”
Yodu said that although the villagers were Papua New Guineans, the Indonesian government was providing basic services such health and education to them.
By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK