Exiled Papua rebel leader returns home

JAKARTA, March 20 (Xinhua) — A former Free Papua Movement’s leader, Nicolaas Jouwe, who has been years in overseas exile returned to Indonesia for a visit on Thursday and planned to meet with the country’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono before visiting his birthplace of Papua.

Co-founder of the movement arrived here on Thursday and he met with Indonesian Minister of People Welfare and Poverty Alleviation Aburizal Bakrie at his office here Friday.

“I encourage my self to meet with President Susilo,” he was quoted by Detik.com as saying at the ministry office.

But, presidential spokesman Dino Patti Djalal told Xinhua that there had been no schedule on the meeting.

Eighty-five years old Jouwe has lived in the Netherlands for 40years.

Franz Albert Yoku, a member of the Independent Group Supporting the Autonomous Region of Papua with the Republic of Indonesia, was quoted by Antara news agency as saying that the leader’s visit was at the invitation of the Indonesian government.

Jouwe was traveling to Indonesia accompanied by his daughter, Nancy Jouwe, and his son, Nico Jouwe. In Jakarta, he hoped to have a constructive dialogue with President Susilo.

Under the administration of President Susilo, the three-decade rebellion in Aceh province in the northern tip of Sumatra Island ended through peaceful solution.

The Free Papua Movement has long engaged in rebellious activities in Indonesia. They have used both guerrilla and diplomatic ways to achieve their goal.

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