By Theckla Gunga – EMTV News, Port Moresby
The directive from the Indonesian government to stop all Papua New Guineans without valid PNG passports from traveling into Jayapura, from the Wutung Border Post in West Sepik, will come into effect tomorrow.
The decision made by Indonesia’s Immigration Authority in Jayapura comes after there was an increase in abuse of traditional border passes being used by Papua New Guineans to enter Indonesia.
Responding to this, PNG Chief Migration Officer, Solomon Kantha, says this is Indonesia’s prerogative, and PNG will be putting in place similar arrangements.
The directive from the Indonesian government is clear.
Papua New Guineans will not be allowed into Jayapura, Indonesia, through Wutung in the Sandaun province, without a valid PNG passport and visa.
Previously, Papua New Guineans who are not from the four border villages in West Sepik, use what is called a Supplementary or Manifest to either Jayapura or the famous trading center at Skouw (Batas).
However, that privilege has since been restricted by the Indonesian Authority. For Papua New Guineans traveling to Indonesia through Wutung, there is a Visa on arrival on the Indonesia side of the border.
While Indonesians traveling into Vanimo will now have to apply for Visas at the PNG Consul in Jayapura.
Once the directive comes into effect on November first, it is predicted to affect the border trade between Papua New Guineans and Indonesians.
Following the directive Indonesian authorities, the PNG Consulate in Jayapura has also issued similar directives to prevent Indonesians from entering PNG without a valid passport and visa.