By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
The disputed Yakyu village is located illegally on the neutral area along the PNG-Indonesian border and is a safe haven for criminals from both countries, Morehead government station manager Maninanzang Gantau says.
Gantau said that after an agreement was reached during the 21st meeting of a joint PNG-Indonesian sub-committee on security matters.
PNG Defence Force soldiers had gone 2km into the Indonesian side in Aug last year and removed the Indonesian flag at Yakyu village.
During the meeting last Thursday in Port Moresby, the committee requested the PNG Government to send a diplomatic apology to the Indonesian government for what the PNGDF solders had done.
“Yakyu villagers have to be told to settle on either the PNG or Indonesian side so that it will be easy to monitor them – not in the neutral area where they are now settled,” Gantau said.
“No one should settle in that part of the border.
“I am calling on both governments to immediately remove this village as it poses a very serous security threat for both countries.
“These villagers are known for providing misleading intelligence reports to law enforcement agencies in both countries to cover up for illegal activities that they have committed in both countries. They are not trustworthy.
“They strike illegal deals in either country like poaching and selling endangered flora and fauna.
“They quickly escape across the border when they are wanted in one country for committing an offence.”
Gantau said that the Yakyu villagers were a mixture of both PNG and Indonesian citizens.
“Indonesian citizens have Indonesian identification cards but not Papua New Guinea citizens.
“They were in one village and lived in that neutral area which is their traditional land. But the colonial government told them to leave in 1964 because according to the laws covering international border treaties, they were living in this restricted area.”
Gantau said the PNG soldiers had gone there and removed the Indonesian flag because no one was supposed to live there.
By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK