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JAKARTA, July 23 (Xinhua) — Five separatists belonging to an armed criminal group in Indonesia’s Papua province on Wednesday declared their allegiance to the Republic of Indonesia, military spokesman Col. Czi Gusti Nyoman Suriastawa said in Papua on Thursday.

The declaration was marked by their statement of allegiance to the country before the military task force and local people in the country’s easternmost province, Suriastawa told state news agency Antara.

In addition, the five people also received the Indonesian national flag as well as signing a letter stating that they quit the separatist Free Papua Organization (locally known as OPM) and declare loyal to the Republic of Indonesia, the spokesman said.

On the occasion, they also hand over a handy talky they used for communications with the OPM and two 12.7 mm caliber bullets they grabbed during recent shootouts with Indonesian troops, he said.

Earlier, the task force observed five unknown people in Wame village in Lanny Jaya district and met the village head who said that they were the OPM’s members, Suriastawa said.

The task force and the village head then met the five persons who expressed their willingness to return to the Republic of Indonesia in order to meet their families free from the chase of the Indonesian military and police, he said. Enditem

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