The governor of Papua New Guinea’s capital says a Free West Papua Campaign secretariat will be established in his city.
Powes Parkop made the announcement in Port Moresby in his latest move to raise awareness about human rights issues in PNG’s neighbouring Indonesian-ruled territory of West Papua.
Mr Parkop accuses regional governments, including Australia, of turning a blind eye to gross human rights abuses in West Papua.
EMTV reports he is using PNG’s capital as a hub to lobby support for West Papuan independence aspirations, and is petitioning the UN to address the situation in Papua.
Meanwhile, the Catholic church in Papua New Guinea has reported a new influx of West Papuan asylum seekers into Western Province.
The Catholic Diocese in Kiunga is looking after 133 people who have crossed the border, claiming to have fled from the Indonesian military in West Papua, according to The National.
Kiunga Diocese’s Father Gilles Cote said the asylum seekers were being housed in a temporary camp on church land.
He said the Kiunga public was helping care for them with food, water, clothing and other humanitarian needs.
The group reportedly arrived last month having walked for around 400km over mountainous terrain from Nduga regency in Indonesian-administrated Papua province.
Nduga is the focus of ongoing armed conflict between Indonesia’s military and the West Papua Liberation Army, which massacred at least 16 Indonesian road construction workers in the regency in late 2018.
PNG’s Department of Provincial and Local Level Government, along with officials from Immigrations and Foreign Affairs, are processing the West Papuans to determine their refugee status.
Those who do not meet the political refugee status will be advised to return to their home.
While those who are identified as political refugees will be transported to Western province’s East Awin Camp, a gazetted area for West Papuan refugees.