The National PNG – Immigration and Border Security Minister Petrus Thomas yesterday awarded Papua New Guinea citizenship to 62 West Papuans residing in Vanimo.
Thomas, in his speech to the former West Papuans, said: “You have waited for all this time for 30 to 40 years.
“I would like to thank you for your patience.
“The time has come and I am pleased on behalf of the PNG Government to formally recognise you as PNG citizens.”
Whilst waiting, one of the recipients, Maria Hassor, passed away and her husband received her certificate.
This brings the total of former West Papuans to 1352 since the Immigration and Citizenship Authority started the process of registration and citizenship for West Papuans in 2017.
Willam Braber and his wife were also recipients of the citizenship award.
Braber spent 51 years in PNG and worked as a high school teacher for 43 years.
West Sepik Governor Tony Wouwou thanked the Government and Immigration and Citizenship Authority for recognising the West Papuans who had lived and contributed immensely to the province.