PNG citizens given until Feb 9 to return


Papua New Guinea citizens in Indonesia planning to return home across the border post at Wutung have until Sunday, Feb 9 to do so, a West Sepik government statement says.
“Any PNG citizen in the West Papua Province of Indonesia planning to travel back to PNG via Vanimo must seek the Consul General’s clearance in Jayapura to return through the Wutung border post by Sunday February 8, 2020,” the statement said.
“After this date there won’t be any more passing through the Wutung border post.”
It said the border post was “closed for normal business activities and out of bound to public and local citizens indefinitely”.
“All international travel into PNG via the Vanimo-Wutung Border Post and other land and sea access entry points along the coastal villages and the hinterland areas from Vanimo district to Telefomin district are closed until further notice.
“All international and foreign logging export operations and other sea freighting operations coming into Vanimo sea port are banned and suspended until further notice.
“Any international shipment for entry into Vanimo or logging ports in West Sepik must travel to Port Moresby, Lae, Rabaul or Motukea ports to get clearance before unloading at Vanimo.”
Only local ships are allowed into Vanimo port.
Meanwhile families of PNG border officers and Wutung villagers face water cuts following the closure of the border because of coronavirus fears.
Wutung councillor Ray Tanji said: “I don’t know if the PNG border officers living at the Wutung government station are aware of the possible disaster before they shut down the border because the main water source for all of us on the PNG side of the border is on Indonesian side.”

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