Papuans destined for refugee camp

National, Normal

The National – Wednesday, February 2, 2011

MORE than 100 West Papuan settlers including women and children, rounded up from suspected Operasi Papua Merdeka (OPM) rebel camps and detained in Vanimo, will be taken to Kiunga in Western later this week.
According to reports on the ground, seven suspected illegal OPM camps in West Sepik were searched and destroyed by the Sunset Merona team last week.
These included the Yako, Daunda, Pepsi, Krisa, Black Wara, Davi and Skotsio-Bewani camps concentrated mainly along the west coast.
The National was told that arrangements were underway for the PNG Defence Force Casa aircraft to fly the detainees to the East Arwin refugee camp.
The detainees would undergo further processing by the United Nations human rights agency and West Sepik provincial administration.
Reports said only eight families had legal residency permits to reside in the country with the exception of bordering provinces like Manus, Bougainville, Milne Bay and Western.
Sunset Merona operations are into their third week.
Five labour officials also arrived in Vanimo on Sunday to enhance the work of customs, migrations and foreign affairs.    
Combined task force commander Jerry Frank could not be reached for comments.