Repression shadows West Papuans consulting over Autonomy

West Papua Army: We Fully Support the Provisional Constitution and Provisional Government of the ULMWP
West Papua Army at the Central Defense Headquarters 1 December 2020
West Papua Army at the Central Defense Headquarters 1 December 2020

Stated in the official website of West Papua Army, the Central Defense Headquarters of West Papua Army declares full support to the formation of the Provisional Government of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (PC-ULMWP) on December 1, 2020, based on the Provisional Constitution of the ULMWP endorsed by the ULMWP Legislative Committee Council on 20 October 2020.

The ULMWP Legislative Committee endorsed the Provisional Constitution and submitted to the ULMWP Executive Committee to officially announce to the world. The Legislative Summit also proposed H.E. Benny Wenda as the Interim President and Rev. Edison Waromi as the interim Prime Minister of the ULMWP. The ULMWP Executive Committee held its Extra-Ordinary Summit on November 2020 and endorsed the Provisional Constitution and officially declared the formation of ULMWP Provisional Govenment.

The decision of the Executive Committee Summit was submitted to the Interim President in England and H.E. Benny Wenda announced the result on December 1st, 2020.

West Papua Army declare that from now of the army and West Papua police will protect the government the government and constitution of West Papua until Indonesia is out from West Papua territory which was previously called by the Dutch colony as the Netherlands New Guinea, UNTEA as West Irian, then colonial government of Indonesia as West Irian, Irian Jaya, Papua and Papua and Papua Barat provinces.

Gen. WPA Amunggut Tabi from West Papua Revolutionary Army (WPRA) states all parties should now submit themselves under the Provisional Constitution and work towards unified power-sharing government of West Papua.

A Racial Justice Campaign Brought New Attention to Indonesia’s Poorest Region. Will It Translate to Support for Independence?

As racial justice protests swept the U.S. this summer, a related movement was taking hold thousands of miles away in Indonesia. Papuan Lives Matter began as a hashtag on social media, spreading across the sprawling archipelago of 270 million people. Indonesians shared links to webinars and websites with information about human rights issues in the region of West Papua. An Instagram post saying “We cannot talk about #Black Lives Matter without talking about West Papua” received more than 8,500 likes.

West Papua—which sits on the western half of the island of New Guinea, about 1,900 miles east of the Indonesian capital Jakarta—has seen decades of unrest Lon Tweeten for TIME
Within Indonesia, the movement brought unprecedented attention to the discrimination faced by Papuans, who are of Melanasian origin. Many Melanesian people also identify as Black; and are the majority in neighboring Papua New Guinea, as well as the Pacific island nations like Fiji and Vanuatu. Papuans make up just a tiny portion of Indonesia’s population nationally and consider their origins unique from other ethnic groups in the country.

For many people in West Papua—which sits on the western half of the island of New Guinea, about 1,900 miles east of the capital Jakarta—the struggle goes beyond racial equality. The former Dutch colony was declared part of Indonesia by a 1969 referendum. Just over 1,000 representatives—handpicked by the Indonesian military and officials—were allowed to vote in the referendum that declared West Papua part of Indonesia. Although the vote was recognized by the international community, many Papuans rejected it as rigged. A separatist struggle in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua—commonly referred to as the West Papua region—has been simmering ever since.

Amid renewed attention on West Papua, a coalition of pro-independence groups called the the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), announced on Dec. 1 that it had set up a government-in-waiting to start working toward independence for the some 4.3 million residents of Papua and West Papua. Long-time independence activist Benny Wenda has been nominated as the group’s interim president.

The Indonesian government, which considers the region an inseparable part of Indonesia, rejected Wenda’s move as a “farce.” A spokesperson for Indonesian President Joko Widodo said the declaration by Wenda’s group doesn’t meet the bar for a legitimate government—and that the government in Jakarta is the “sole authority” in the region. “It is final and ironclad from the perspective of international law,” a statement to TIME said.

A Papuan pro-independence supporter wears a face shield during a rally commemorating the 58th anniversary of the New York Agreement outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta on Aug. 15. The agreement, signed by the Netherlands and Indonesia in 1962, led to Indonesia taking over West Papua from Dutch colonial rule in 1963 Dita Alangkara—AP
The issue of human rights in West Papua has attracted increasing attention—both within Indonesia and internationally—in recent years. The global anti-racism movement has sparked a new discussion about West Papua, and helped campaigners reach more people than ever before. “I think [Black Lives Matter] enabled Papuans to speak of racism in a way that Indonesians and others can understand,” says Ligia Giay, who helps publish the newsletter Voices of Papua.

“Papuan Lives Matter” also pushed Indonesians to consider what’s happening in its easternmost region in the context of racism. Camellia Webb-Gannon, the coordinator of the West Papua Project at the University of Wollongong in Australia, says that the issue of race hasn’t historically been discussed as a point of tension in West Papua. Previously, the struggle has been talked about in terms of colonialism, resource exploitation and human rights abuses. “They’re starting to see this in light of this international discourse around racism that’s happening in the U.S. in particular,” she says. “Suddenly these links have been made in West Papua too, and it’s taking off, so then a lot of Indonesians are picking up on it.”

But observers say that might not translate into support for Wenda’s government-in-waiting, or other independence movements. And it might not mean that a solution to the decades-long turmoil is close.

A long, violent history

Indonesia maintains a heavy military presence in the region. Human rights observers and local activists say hundreds of thousands have been killed since the 1960’s by security forces. Access restrictions on international media and rights observers and internet blackouts make it difficult to determine an accurate count. Wenda says that he was spit on and called names by non-Papuan students and teachers growing up, and witnessed Indonesian soldiers brutalizing his family members, and others in his village.

“They treat us different. Because, we are different,” Wenda says. “They look at us as sub-human.”

Benny Wenda participates in a Black Lives Matter protest at Hyde Park in response to the death of George Floyd on June 12 Ollie Millington—RMV/Shutterstock
The government has been accused of human rights violations including torture, extrajudicial killings and poilitically motivated arrests. Wenda claims he is among them. The 46-year-old has been involved in pro-independence activism for decades. He fled to the U.K., where he has continued international advocacy for independence, after escaping from prison in 2002, where he faced charges for inciting an attack on a police station in which he denies involvement.

Economic inequality is another point of contention. West Papua has abundant resources—it is timber-rich and home to the world’s largest gold mine and third largest copper mine—but it is one of the poorest regions in Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s most populous nation and its largest economy. Around a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line. Environmental destruction, often linked to resource exploitation, is another grievance (Wenda says West Papua—if it won independence— would be the world’s first “Green State.”)

“Our people have been killed, our mountains have been destroyed, our forests have been ripped down,” says Wenda.

Migration has also been a source of tension. Data is scant, but government policies have led to an influx Indonesians from more populous islands like Java and Sulawesi, and non-Papuans may now comprise a majority of the population.

Tensions have been escalating. In 2019 unrest broke out in West Papua after police in Java—Indonesia’s most populous island, home to the capital Jakarta—reportedly called a group of Papuan students racist names like “monkey.” At least 43 people were killed, including at least one Indonesian soldier, according to Human Rights Watch. Over 6,000 troops were deployed to quell unrest.

Papuan students shout slogans during a rally in Jakarta on Aug. 28, 2019 supporting West Papua’s call for independence from Indonesia Andrew Gal—NurPhoto/Getty Images)
On Nov. 30, one day before Wenda’s announcement of a government in exile, the U.N. Human Rights Office in Southeast Asia issued a statement that observers were “disturbed by escalating violence” in the West Papua region. The statement said the trend toward violence began when Papuan fighters killed 19 people in 2018 working on a road construction project—a faction of the independence movement called the West Papua Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the attack.

The government has committed billions of dollars to infrastructure projects in the region, and says it is “laser-focused” on development there. This has been met with some resistance, and led to clashes; for example, some Papuans fear that a road being built across the region will make it easier for the Indonesian military to access and open it up for resource exploitation.

“There have been repeated reports of extra-judicial killings, excessive use of force, arrest and continuous harassment and intimidation of protesters and human rights defenders,” the U.N. statement said.

Indonesian foreign ministry spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah criticized the statement, including its release the day before Dec. 1, which people in West Papua consider their independence day, saying it could be interpreted as support for Papuan separatists.

In a statement, Jaleswari Pramodawardhani, the Indonesian president’s deputy chief of staff, did not directly address the allegations of human rights abuses. But, she told TIME that the “law enforcement process is taking place as of this moment” and that the government has “initiated the establishment of a fact-finding team to expedite the law enforcement process” that includes government and law enforcement authorities, and independent representatives from the academic community, and civil society.

Some experts warn that Wenda’s announcement may exacerbate tensions. Richard Chauvel, an associate professor at the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, says the formation of a West Papuan government-in-waiting may compel Indonesia to “send more troops to what is already a heavily garrisoned region.”

Read More: A Tragic, Forgotten Place.’ Poverty and Death in Indonesia’s Land of Gold

The way forward

Wenda’s campaign focuses mostly on self-determination and gaining independence from what he dubs “Jakarta’s illegal martial law.” But Wenda acknowledges that the Black Lives Matter movement helped spread information about West Papua. He spoke at Black Lives Matter rallies in London, and he has sometimes used #BlackLivesMatter and #PapuanLives Matter hashtags to spread his message on social media.

Indonesian students hold candles during a protest in Medan, Indonesia on Oct. 1, 2019 against the government’s proposed change in its criminal code laws, plans to weaken the anti-corruption commission and riot victims in Wamena Albert Ivan Damanik—Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
“A new generation of Indonesians [is] coming out on the street, a solidarity movement,” says Wenda. “Just like in America, ordinary people are coming together to say no more racism, no more intimidation, no more harassment.”

But Sophie Chao, from the University of Sydney, says that there is a risk that the Indonesian government will use the push for independence as a reason to limit the freedoms on the ground in West Papua.

And Webb-Gannon, the researcher in Australia, cautions that even Indonesians who are against human rights violations and racism in West Papua may not support independence for the restive region, given a strong nationalist sentiment throughout Indonesia.

Husein, a 25-year-old from Jakarta, who asked to go by just one name, says he joined a #PapuanLivesMatter webinar in June because he was curious about issues there. “My personal position is I’m against the repression of Papuans but I also disagree with the idea of West Papua independence,” he says.

Read More: Protests in West Papua Have Turned Violent Amid an Internet Blackout. Here’s What to Know

This is not the first time a pro-independence group has set up a provisional government for Indonesian-controlled West Papua, and Indonesia has faced numerous separatists struggles.

Another separatist movement in Indonesia was successful, but bloody. In 1999, following a U.N. organized referendum, East Timor voted to secede from Indonesia and become the independent state of Timor-Leste. Between 1,000 and 2,000 civilians were killed in the months before and days immediately after the election, according to Human Rights Watch, and a U.N.-backed peacekeeping force was deployed.

Wenda says his work to bring international attention to the West Papuan cause has had success. His group was granted observer status in the Melanesian Spearhead Group, a bloc that includes Melanesian-majority nations. Vanuatu, a member of the bloc, has raised the issue of West Papua at the United Nations.

“I’m on a mission,” Wenda says. “I’ll finish my mission and then I will rest.”

Source: TIME.com

Boven Digoel local allegedly tortured to death by TNI personnel

An 18-year-old resident of Asiki district in Bovel Digoel regency, Papua, reportedly died after being tortured by Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel stationed in the region.

Identified as Oktovianus Warip Betere, the young man was accused of stealing from a kiosk at a local market on Friday and subsequently taken into custody by TNI personnel based on a report from a supposed witness, according to Merauke Archdiocese director Anselmus Amo.

“Upon capture, [Oktavianus] was assaulted and then brought to a military post,” Anselmus said.

He claimed that Oktavianius was tortured and eventually killed while in custody. A post-mortem examination performed at a local clinic found a number of bruises and wounds on Oktavianus’ body, he said.

Oktavianus was promptly laid to rest with a private funeral that was limited to several family members.

Read also: Security forces allegedly shoot dead two Papuans at river near Freeport complex Victor Mambor and Nina A. Loasana

Boven Digoel Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Syamsurijal confirmed Oktavianus’ death but questioned the rumors circulating among locals regarding the events that led to his passing.

“It’s true that someone has died, that the perpetrator is a TNI soldier. But not everything that’s been said is true,” Syamsurijal told The Jakarta Post, denying rumors that Oktavianus’ death was subject to a military cover-up.

He went on to say that he had visited Asiki district alongside local military officials to investigate the incident on Saturday.

Maj. Suko Raharjo, a spokesperson for military command post (Korem) 174 in Merauke regency, denied that Oktavianus was tortured to death at a military post in Asiki.

“It’s false. The victim died at a Puskesmas [community health center] in Asiki,” he said, adding that the TNI was still conducting a thorough investigation into the incident. (rfa)

This article was published in thejakartapost.com with the title “147 Catholic priests call for end to Papuan violence on Human Rights DayBoven Digoel local allegedly tortured to death by TNI personnelFacebook removes hundreds of QAnon groups, citing public safety risks”. Click to read: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/07/27/boven-digoel-local-allegedly-tortured-to-death-by-tni-personnel.html.

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‘Free Papua Movement’ Intensifies Amid Escalating Violence
Supporters of West Papuan independence at a rally in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Dec. 1. Indonesia annexed West Papua in 1963, and formalized its sovereignty over the region in 1969.Credit...Achmad Ibrahim/Associated Press
Supporters of West Papuan independence at a rally in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Dec. 1. Indonesia annexed West Papua in 1963, and formalized its sovereignty over the region in 1969.Credit…Achmad Ibrahim/Associated Press

West Papua was annexed by Indonesia decades ago, leading to a prolonged conflict. A tribal chief who lives overseas recently declared himself president of the embattled territory.

By Richard C. Paddock

BANGKOK — It has been 59 years since separatists in the Indonesian territory of West Papua raised their red, white and blue flag and declared independence. The region has been in conflict ever since.

This month, the United Nations Human Rights Office called on all sides to reduce escalating violence in the territory, which has included the recent killings of activists, church workers and members of Indonesian security forces.

At the same time, a rebel leader living overseas announced that he had been elected interim president of the embattled region in hopes of unifying the movement seeking independence from Indonesia, known as the Free Papua Movement.

Benny Wenda, who escaped from an Indonesian jail 18 years ago and later received political asylum in Britain, declared himself head of West Papua’s first government-in-exile on Dec. 1, the anniversary of the independence declaration. Already, one armed group in West Papua has said it doesn’t recognize his authority.

Mr. Wenda claimed he was elected by a clandestine congress that met in secret. He said Papuans are victims of a slow-moving genocide that will not end until the territory gains its freedom from Indonesia.

“Our independent nation was stolen in 1963 by the Indonesian government,” he said by phone from Oxford. “We are taking another step toward reclaiming our legal and moral rights.”

Indonesia has no intention of granting independence to the two provinces that make up West Papua. The country’s minister for political, legal and security affairs, Mohammad Mahfud MD, rejected the idea that Mr. Wenda could ever represent the Papuan people.

“He’s a rebel. He’s an outsider,” the minister told reporters. “He is stateless. In England he is a guest. In Indonesia his citizenship has been revoked. So how does he lead a country?”

Indigenous people under pressure.

ImageWest Papua is one of the most isolated and undeveloped parts of the world.
West Papua is one of the most isolated and undeveloped parts of the world.Credit…Bay Ismoyo/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
The ongoing conflict in West Papua has largely been overlooked by the outside world. In recent years, the government has limited access by foreign journalists, researchers and United Nations rights officials.

West Papua is also one of the most isolated and undeveloped parts of the world. Home to about four million people, it takes up the western half of New Guinea — the world’s second-biggest island after Greenland — and is split into two large provinces, confusingly named Papua and West Papua. The island’s eastern half is occupied by the nation of Papua New Guinea.

The people of West Papua are divided into more than 250 tribes with more than 400 languages. Demographic data is scarce, but a steady influx of migrants from other islands means that Indigenous Papuans are likely now outnumbered.

Native Papuans have dark skin and curly hair and regularly face racism and discrimination. Violent clashes erupted last year after reports emerged of the police insulting students with racist slurs.

Commerce in cities and towns is dominated by non-Papuans while many Indigenous Papuans eke out a subsistence living in the region’s highlands, where many villages are accessible only on foot. The Indigenous people have among the country’s lowest life expectancies and infant mortality is high.

Mr. Mahfud, the security affairs minister, acknowledged that the government had not done enough to help Indigenous Papuans and that corrupt local officials had siphoned off money earmarked for Indigenous communities.

“We have prepared a presidential decree that is now being studied so that development in Papua can truly be felt by the people,” he said. “The budget for Papua is huge, but it is corrupted by the elites there so it does not reach the people.”

Annexed by Indonesia, separatists dream of independence.

Benny Wenda, left, with the British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, center, during a protest in London in October over the exploitation of the West Papuan rainforest.
Benny Wenda, left, with the British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, center, during a protest in London in October over the exploitation of the West Papuan rainforest.Credit…Isabel Infantes/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Separatists have waged a low-key insurgency for decades in a quest for self-rule. Calling for independence in West Papua is considered treason under Indonesian law, and raising the independence flag can bring a prison sentence of up to 15 years.

Two years after Papuans declared independence in 1961, Indonesia sent troops to occupy the former Dutch territory, and has maintained a military presence ever since. In 1969, in a vote regarded by many Papuans as rigged, Indonesia rounded up a thousand tribal leaders and held them until they agreed to join Indonesia.

The result was called “The Act of Free Choice,” and, after ratification by the United Nations, became Indonesia’s legal foundation for controlling West Papua. Many Papuans see their region as occupied and would like a true referendum to decide its status.

“Most Papuans want to be free,” said Veronica Koman, an Indonesian human rights attorney and activist based in Australia. “They want independence from Indonesia. They want a referendum. It is fair for everyone.”

The Indonesian government adamantly opposes holding a vote.

“The referendum was in November 1969,” Mr. Mahfud said. “It was ratified by the U.N. General Assembly that Papua is a legitimate part of Indonesia. Therefore, there will be no more. It is impossible for the U.N. to make a decision twice on the same matter.”

A land rich in natural resources.

Image
The Grasberg copper and gold mine in West Papua.
The Grasberg copper and gold mine in West Papua.Credit…Antara Photo Agency, via Reuters

West Papua is rich in natural resources, giving Indonesia a strong incentive not to let it go. As outsiders come to the province to help exploit its resources, Native Papuans complain of a lack of jobs and opportunity.

The mountainous island, which lies north of Australia, has the world’s second-largest rainforest after the Amazon and is rich in biodiversity, with plant and animal species that remain unknown to the outside world.

Indonesia has harvested West Papua’s wealth in minerals, natural gas and timber with the help of foreign companies. The American mining company Freeport-McMoRan extracted gold and copper for decades from the giant Grasberg mine. An international consortium led by BP operates the huge Tangguh natural gas field.

Other companies are logging large swaths of pristine forest and replacing them with lucrative palm oil plantations. West Papua’s forests, home to some of the country’s rarest birds, are also prime hunting grounds for illegal poachers. A bird of paradise can fetch as much as $1,500 on the black market in Jakarta.

In the coming years, wilderness areas will be opened up even more by a 2,700-mile trans-Papuan highway now under construction, accelerating the extraction of resources, both legal and illegal.

Escalating violence as more troops arrive.

The Buruni market burning during a violent protest in Fakfak, West Papua, in August 2019.
The Buruni market burning during a violent protest in Fakfak, West Papua, in August 2019.Credit…Beawiharta/EPA, via Shutterstock
Violence has been escalating since December 2018, when 19 migrant laborers working on the Trans-Papua Highway were killed by Papuan rebels.

The government has deployed growing numbers of soldiers and police officers in West Papua, but the total number stationed there remains classified.

“We urge the government of Indonesia to uphold people’s rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association in line with its international obligations,” said Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the United Nations Human Rights Office in Geneva.

Amnesty International has identified 38 prisoners of conscience in West Papua, more than the rest of Indonesia combined. The group says most are charged with treason for the peaceful and legitimate expression of their views.

Another human rights group, Human Rights and Peace in Papua, said last week that as many 60,000 Papuans had been displaced by recent fighting.

Faced with such conditions, Ms. Koman, the activist, said desperate young people have joined rebel groups in the jungle. “This vicious cycle of violence needs to be stopped to save the young generation of Papuans,” she said. “They will end up in jail or fighting and sacrificing their lives.”

Papua’s independence movement has long been fragmented and it is unclear how much support Mr. Wenda has for his claim to be president.

Six years ago, three factions united behind Mr. Wenda to form the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, and Mr. Wenda says he has their backing. But one armed group, the National Liberation Army of West Papua-Free Papua Organization, issued a statement rejecting his claim, saying he is a resident of Britain who does not have the majority support of Papuans.

As president of an independent Papua, Mr. Wenda said, he would protect the rights of Indigenous Papuans and halt environmental destruction.

“Our rights have been violated under international law,” he said. “Indonesia destroys not only my people but our forests and our mountains.”

Muktita Suhartono contributed reporting.

Source: NYT

West Papuan priests call for dialogue to end violent conflict

Catholic priests in West Papua have appealed for reconciliation and dialogue to address ongoing armed violence in their region.

A statement has been issued by 147 priests from across the Indonesian-administered provinces of West Papua and Papua.

The priests acknowledge an increase in conflict following a massacre of 18 Indonesian road construction workers by the West Papua Liberation Army in Nduga two years ago.

Indonesia deployed extra security forces to Papua in response.

Subsequent violent exchanges have caused deaths and injury of civilians, including Papuan church leaders in recent months.

The priests said their appeal was firstly directed at Indonesia’s police and military and also the pro-independence West Papua guerilla fighters, pleading with them to cease hostilities.

Secondly, they have asked Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo and his government to withdraw all non-essential forces from Papua.

It is not the first time in recent months that West Papuan church leaders have appealed for a de-escalation of the militarisation that’s been underway in their region

But it is their most desperate call yet, pointing out that military intervention only exacerbates tensions.

Indonesia’s military has engaged in a series of deadly skirmishes with elements of the West Papua Liberation Army in regencies including Puncak Jaya and Intan Jaya this year.

The Catholic priests said a military approach would never solve the problems of Papua.

“We ask that both parties, who are dignified Human Beings, immediately cease armed violence and open the door to dialogue in dignified dialogue that can be mediated by the State or Neutral and independent Groups.”

Meanwhile, ongoing conflict has caused mass displacement of various remote village communities in regencies of Papua’s rugged interior.

The priests offered to play a role in facilitating dialogue that could begin to address the long-running conflict in West Papua.

“This dialogue is not intended to seek out who is wrong and who is right, but rather to find the real truths that lead all parties to justice and peace in life,” the priests said.

Their statement also called for Indonesian policy makers to consider the devastating impact on indigenous Papuans from unfettered migration to their homeland by people from other parts of Indonesia.

They said West Papua should not be considered as vacant land to be filled up, warning of an increasingly strained relationship between migrants and the region’s indigenous Melanesians if transmigration was not controlled.

Source: FijiTimes

West Papuan priests call for dialogue to end violent conflict

Johnny BladesRNZ Pacific Journalist, johnny.blades@rnz.co.nz

West Papuan Catholic Priests have appealed to Indonesian security forces and Papua's pro-independence guerilla fighters to step back from armed conflict and enter dialogue. Photo: Supplied
West Papuan Catholic Priests have appealed to Indonesian security forces and Papua’s pro-independence guerilla fighters to step back from armed conflict and enter dialogue. Photo: Supplied

Catholic priests in West Papua have appealed for reconciliation and dialogue to address ongoing armed violence in their region.

A statement has been issued by 147 priests from across the Indonesian-administered provinces of West Papua and Papua.

The priests acknowledge an increase in conflict following a massacre of 18 Indonesian road construction workers by the West Papua Liberation Army in Nduga two years ago.

Indonesia deployed extra security forces to Papua in response.

Subsequent violent exchanges have caused deaths and injury of civilians, including Papuan church leaders in recent months.

The priests said their appeal was firstly directed at Indonesia’s police and military and also the pro-independence West Papua guerilla fighters, pleading with them to cease hostilities.

Secondly, they have asked Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo and his government to withdraw all non-essential forces from Papua.

It is not the first time in recent months that West Papuan church leaders have appealed for a de-escalation of the militarisation that’s been underway in their region

But it is their most desperate call yet, pointing out that military intervention only exacerbates tensions.

Indonesia’s military has engaged in a series of deadly skirmishes with elements of the West Papua Liberation Army in regencies including Puncak Jaya and Intan Jaya this year.

The Catholic priests said a military approach would never solve the problems of Papua.

“We ask that both parties, who are dignified Human Beings, immediately cease armed violence and open the door to dialogue in dignified dialogue that can be mediated by the State or Neutral and independent Groups.”

Meanwhile, ongoing conflict has caused mass displacement of various remote village communities in regencies of Papua’s rugged interior.

The priests offered to play a role in facilitating dialogue that could begin to address the long-running conflict in West Papua.

“This dialogue is not intended to seek out who is wrong and who is right, but rather to find the real truths that lead all parties to justice and peace in life,” the priests said.

Their statement also called for Indonesian policy makers to consider the devastating impact on indigenous Papuans from unfettered migration to their homeland by people from other parts of Indonesia.

They said West Papua should not be considered as vacant land to be filled up, warning of an increasingly strained relationship between migrants and the region’s indigenous Melanesians if transmigration was not controlled.

 

Papuan independence battle fought from Oxford village

To his neighbours in Marston, a village in north Oxford where he has lived for 16 years, Benny Wenda is another face in the multicultural city.

His six children have gone to local schools and he worships at the local church. Few know the traumatic events that led him here or the crusade he fights from his home.

In a move that caused reverberations on the other side of the world, Mr Wenda last week declared himself interim president of the government in exile of West Papua, a territory on the island of New Guinea.

Source: The Times UK

Indonesian Fascist Military and Terrorist Police Torturing Papuan Students in Nabire

World Human Rights Day 2020

Westpapuanews.Org – Indonesia fascist military and terrorist police continuedly attacked West Papuans students peaceful rally for world Human Rights Day being brutal attacked by Indonesian racist military and police on this Thursday, 10/12/2020 in Nabire.

The peaceful rally commemorate the world Human Rights Day every years part of the international event every countries taking action on the streets to celebrate, but unfortunately Indonesia is a fascist democracy country did not recognised the Human Rights Day and Human rights law just only empty symbols because Indonesian fascist military and terrorist police have human rights to shot death, murderous, killing, torturing innocent Indonesian civilians and West Papuans who is occupied by Indonesia criminal regime where their treatment of Indigenous people of West Papua as their slave and little apartheid policy against Black Melanesian live matter in West Papua.

Human Rights Day was blocked by Indonesian racist police at the gathering point for the Tumaritis coral market in Nabire West Papua on this Thursday 10/12/2020.

World human rights day 2020. Yesterday on December 10th 2020 colonial Indonesian police attacked West Papuan students who were peacefully protesting against Indonesian human rights abuses. We are in solidarity with 6 victims of Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) were killed by Indonesian terrorist police. However Indonesia Kapolda Metro Jaya , Inspector General Pol Fadil Imran made up the story and created fake news, if Islamic Defenders Front attacks the terrorise police, while the evidence and eyes witness informed that Indonesian racist police killed 6 follers of hard-line cleric who did not attacked police officers but the Indonesian racist police killed them cold blood.

Westpapuanews.Org send solidarity with the family of 6 victim and rest in peace (Fais, Ambon, Andi, Reza, Lutfi, and Kadhafi. We knew how the Indonesia is a fascist democracy country murderous their own ordinary civilians then lies to the international communities to hiding their secrets killing and worst case is Indonesia occupied West Papua 59 years killing West Papuans because Papuan is Black Melanesian race, being continue treating us as animals.

We need international intervention to stop colonial Indonesia killing us in West Papua.

59 years Indonesia occupied West Papua.

We need to be free people.

Referendum on independence is the peaceful and dignified solution for West Papua.

Chronology

During the action, from the gathering point of RSUD Siriwini Nabire, they were transported by car. At 9:45 am, after appearing 2 patrol cars belonging to the Indonesian military police and 1 long patrol truck at the point where negotiations had taken place with security had negotiated the security forces to carry out a hard beating at the time of the action around 10:00 and they were immediately transported to Nabire Police.

Period of action on hold
10:00 am
Friends
1 christianus mote
2 Martinus Goo

  1. Agusten Goo
  2. Mesak keiya
  3. Beti Goo
  4. Seli Bobi
  5. Samuel Bobi
  6. Roni Goo
  7. Darius Goo
  8. Make up the Dogomo
  9. How much
  10. Yuli Obaipa
  11. GEO Mote
  12. Melan Mote
  13. Emeliana Douw

    And some other friends don’t know his name.

This is the crime of the Republic of Indonesia, if Papuans express their opinion it is prohibited,
Indonesia has silenced when talking about human rights violations.

West Papuan people demonstrating to express their opinion must face extrajudicial arrest.

Source: Facebook.com

Pacific Media Watch Newsdesk

West Papuan leaders have begun forming a “provisional government” in defiance of a crackdown by Indonesian security forces and have pledged that the Melanesian region will establish the world’s first “green state”.

West Papuan civil society and political movements have opposed Indonesian colonisation of the region since 1962 and the announcement of this government-in-waiting yesterday – West Papua’s independence flag day – and push for a referendum has raised the stakes.

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) aims to mobilise the people of West Papua to achieve the referendum on independence.

Following this the ULMWP intends to take control of the territory and organise democratic elections.

“Indonesian repression currently renders elections impossible,” said the ULMWP in a statement.

“Today, we honour and recognise all our forefathers who fought and died for us by finally establishing a united government-in-waiting,” declared Benny Wenda, named interim president of the provisional government.

“Embodying the spirit of the people of West Papua, we are ready to run our country. As laid out in our Provisional Constitution, a future republic of West Papua will be the world’s first green state, and a beacon of human rights – the opposite of decades of bloody Indonesian colonisation.

“Another step for ‘free West Papua’

“Today, we take another step towards our dream of a free, independent and liberated West Papua.”

The ULMWP statement said the rest of the cabinet would be announced in future months, and an Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) is expected “at an appropriate time”.

The announcement is a direct rejection of Jakarta’s attempts to extend “special autonomy” provisions in West Papua.

First imposed in 2001, the Special Autonomy status will expire at the end of the year, and is the target of a mass petition sponsored by 102 civil society organisations across West Papua.

Thirty-six people were arrested in Manokwari and Sorong on Friday after raising the banned Morning Star flag.

Flag-raising protests were raised yesterday at several locations in New Zealand – including on the steps of Parliament and at a symposium at Auckland University of Technology – as part of a global protest.

West Papuans worldwide mark independence day on December 1, the anniversary of the region’s declaration of independence from Dutch colonial rule in 1961 and the raising of its now-banned Morning Star flag.

On Monday, the UN Office of Human Right spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani on Papua and West Papua said: “We are disturbed by escalating violence over the past weeks and months in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua and the increased risk of renewed tension and violence.”

She said in a statement that in one incident on November 22, a 17-year-old was shot dead and another 17-year-old injured in an alleged police shootout, with the bodies found at the Limbaga Mountain, Gome District.

Earlier, in September and October 2020 there had been “a disturbing series of killings” of at least six individuals, including activists and church workers.

At least two members of the security forces were also killed in clashes.

The UN office has called for an inquiry into the violence.

“The new provisional constitution centres on environmental protections, social justice, gender equality and religious freedom, and protects the rights of Indonesian migrants living in West Papua,” said the ULMWP statement.

“The constitution establishes a governance structure, including the form

ation of a Congress, Senate and judicial branch.

“The government is supported by all liberation groups inside West Papua, representing the overwhelming majority of the people.”

The ULMWP delivered the West Papuan People’s Petition, signed by 70 percent of West Papuans, to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2019.

Article by AsiaPacificReport.nz

MIL OSI Analysis – EveningReport.nz –

Source: https://foreignaffairs.co.nz