Over 150 rebels surrender to Indonesian government in Papua

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/3/24 20:39:57

A total of 154 guerrilla fighters in Papua province have surrendered to the Indonesian government, the Indonesian army said in a statement on Friday.

The fighters were members of the Free Papua Movement which has long engaged in rebellion and sought diplomatic ways to separate from Indonesia.

The surrender happened following a humanitarian approach undertaken by the Indonesia army.

"Finally, the humanitarian approach has successfully led 154 members of the Free Papua Movement give up their insurgency," the statement said.

In a ceremony in Puncak district, head of the district Wilem Wandik handed Indonesia's red-and-white flag to a representative of the rebels as a symbol of their return, it said.

President Joko Widodo's administration has been trying to create equality in development across the archipelago country, including creating a uniform price for fuel and cement, building toll roads in Papua province to help spur economic growth.

The Free Papua Movement frequently targeted civilians, soldiers and staff of a US mining company in the province, leaving dozens of casualties.

Posted in: ASIA-PACIFIC

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