Underage fighters are drawn into Indonesian conflict

In this photo taken in May 2019, and released by the West Papua Liberation Army-Free Papua Organization, men and boys from the West Papua Liberation Army pose with weapons in the Nduga region of the central highlands, Papua province, Indonesia. (West Papua Liberation Army-Free Papua Organization via AP)

JAKARTA, Indonesia — The long-simmering conflict between Indonesia's military and Papuans seeking independence includes indigenous teenagers and boys who appear barely adolescent, highlighting how Indonesia's heavy-handed attempts to extinguish the movement have produced a new generation of fighters.

The West Papua Liberation Army, which has fought Indonesian control in the easternmost region since the early 1960s, and Papuans who peacefully advocate independence acknowledge that youngsters are involved in the conflict. But they also describe them as willing participants who fight the Indonesian state.

A photo taken in May by a Liberation Army member in the Nduga area of the central highlands in Papua shows four males who appear to range in age from pre-teen to adolescent, with four older men, all holding military-style weapons.

People also read these

Chinese Pres. Xi promotes 2022 Winter Olympics with visit

Jan 24, 2017

Chinese President Xi Jinping has stressed the need for sustainability and post-event planning on a...

China plans for 50,000 football academies by 2025

Feb 22, 2017

China's football association is planning for the country to have 50,000 football academies by 2025...

In Beijing, Tillerson urges China-US cooperation on N. Korea

Mar 18, 2017

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is pushing for closer China-U.S. cooperation on dealing with...

China plans panda preserve 3 times size of Yellowstone park

Mar 31, 2017

China plans a preserve for giant pandas that will be three times the size of Yellowstone National...

China blasts India over Dalai Lama visit to disputed area

Apr 5, 2017

China is criticizing India for allowing the Dalai Lama to visit a disputed border region, saying it...

AseanCoverage is a next-gen news site focusing exclusively on online news from South East Asia.

Contact us: sales[at]aseancoverage.com