Papua: Chemical Weapons

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 7th February 2019.

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Photo of Alex Sobel Alex Sobel Labour/Co-operative, Leeds North West

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department has made an assessment of the accuracy of reports that the Indonesian Armed Forces used Chemical weapons on West Papuan civilians on 15 December 2018.

Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Minister of State

The British Government condemns the attack on construction workers by an armed group on 2 December in Nduga district in Papua. We have called on the Indonesian authorities to ensure that the security response is proportionate. Our Ambassador has discussed this with senior officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We are aware of a media claim about the possible use of white phosphorus. This has been strongly denied by the Indonesian authorities. We have been in touch with NGOs and others who have looked into the allegation; they have not found any evidence to support it.

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