Papuan separatists were behind deadly attacks last year on workers near a mine run by a unit of Freeport McMoran Copper and Gold, according to a report from the International Crisis Group.

Released on Thursday, the report said the culprits were likely to be elements of the secessionist Free Papua Movement (OPM) who may have believed that attacks would lead to the mine’s closure.

Titled “Radicalization and Dialogue in Papua,” the report said some elements of OPM and the National Committee for West Papua (KNPB) — a group with its roots in the student movement — were becoming increasingly militant.

“They have decided there was no longer any hope of achieving their main objective — a referendum on independence — through peaceful means, and this has led some to advocate violence and in some cases directly participate in violent acts,” the report said.

The ICG recommended broadening talks between Jakarta and Papuan leaders to address political, historical and economic grievances.

“A dialogue, if carefully prepared, offers the possibility of addressing long-standing grievances, without calling Indonesian sovereignty into question,” said Sidney Jones, senior adviser to the ICG’s Asia program.

The report also said Papua “is not the land of horrors that KNPB would like to portray.”

“The best way to marginalize the radicals of KNPB is not to lock them up. It is to throw the doors wide open to the central highlands and elsewhere, and let NGOs and journalists report back,” it said.

The OPM has often been suspected of involvement in the Freeport attacks. The attacks began in the middle of last year.

Three people have died, including a police officer and an expatriate Freeport employee, and more than 20 have been wounded.

In December, police claimed the killing of Kelly Kwalik, the leader of an armed OPM faction, would improve security in Timika. But in January nine people traveling in a Freeport convoy were injured in a fresh attack.

OPM has denied involvement. “Baseless accusations have always been directed toward the OPM when any killings or shootings occur around the mining area,” OPM leader Otto Ondawame said in a statement released after the attack in January.

Reuters, JG