Hundreds of papua separatists change allegiance

Jayapura (ANTARA News) - At least 212 members of the Papua separatist, OPM, have pledged to forgo the idea of establishing a free Papua state saying they want to be part of Indonesia.

The group leader Daniel Kogoya made the statement pledging allegiance to the Indonesian unitary state in front of the chief of the Cenderawasih Military Command Maj. Gen. Christian Zebua, and regional authorities at Skouw, a town in the border area with Papua New Guinea yesterday.

Marking his move, Daniel Kogoya, who claimed to be one of OPM chiefs, handed over three weapons he had used as separatist fighter.

General Christian Zebua said he hopes more OPM members hiding mainly in the border areas would follow the lead by Daniel to develop Papua.

"Let us work together to develop Papua . We will welcome any OPM members wanting to join the unitary state," he said.

Deputy chief of the Papua police Brig. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw Daniel and other members of the group could ask other OPM members still in the jungle to give up their separatist idea.

"Ask them still in the jungle to work together to develop Papua for the welfare of the people of the region," Paulus said.

The former members of OPM are expected to be able to associates with the local people both Papuans and non Papuan people.