Papuans to be repatriated from PNG in November

Papuans to be repatriated from PNG in November

The Jakarta Post, by Nethy Darma Somba
Jayapura, Papua

The government has set a November deadline for the repatriation of 708 Papuans living in neighboring Papua New Guinea for several years.

Papua provincial secretary Tedjo Soeprapto said the Indonesian nationals would be resettled in 10 regencies across Papua and West Papua provinces in stages.

"[The repatriation] will take place after the presidential inauguration," Tedjo said Thursday.

"The Finance Ministry will cover the cost of the repatriation."

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and vice-president-elect Boediono will be sworn in on Oct. 20.

The head of the provincial border affairs and international cooperation body, Berthy Fernandez, held a meeting Wednesday with the chief welfare minister in Jakarta to discuss the repatriation process.

Tedjo said he would verify the number of people to be repatriated, as the latest data was obtained in 2007 and hence out of date. He added a number of Papuans had returned home voluntarily since then.

Berthy said the repatriated people would be resettled in special camps for three months before being reintegrated into the community.