West Papua

Pacific churches unimpressed by Indonesia's comments on West Papua

The General Secretary, Reverend Francois Pihaatae, said a protest that took place during the forum supporting West Papua's independence was nothing new.

Mr Pihaatae said it illustrated the strong support from some. But he urged all Pacific nations to express their concern as seen in Samoa.

RNZI reports Indonesia's Ambassador to New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga, Tantowi Yahya, was at the meeting and condemned the protest and accused Pacific Islanders of being misled on a human rights situation that had largely improved.

Indonesian officials response to Apia protest 'arrogant'

A protest in support of West Papua's independence movement was held outside the venue of the Pacific Island Forum Leaders summit in Samoa's capital last week.

Subsequently, Indonesia's Ambassador to New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga, Tantowi Yahya, condemned the protest in a heated press conference.

"In our perspective, talking about West Papua in this conference is not the place because from the beginning there is no agenda as such," said the ambassador who was attending the summit as part of a large Indonesian delegation.

Forum leaders call for open, constructive dialogue on West Papua

The leaders have called for dialogue to continue in an open and constructive manner.

When asked whether the language in the communiqué around the issue of West Papua was weak, Samoa Prime Minister and Forum Chair, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said, no.

“It’s the most powerful wording we could find. You know these issues are very sensitive, he said at a post-Forum press conference in Apia, Samoa.

Last Wednesday, a small but vocal group of the Free West Papua movement staged a peaceful protest outside the venue of the Leaders meeting in Apia.

Human rights abuses no longer happening in West Papua says Indonesian delegate

Franzalbert Joku from the Ministry for Political, Judicial and Security in Indonesia is at the 48th Pacific Islands Leaders Forum in Samoa.

“I’m saying it’s not happening to the scale like in the 60s, 70s, 80s and even as late as the 90s.”

“On the issue of Papua independence and human rights abuses allegations, we don’t think the forum is the appropriate place to address these issues."

Protesters gathered outside the Aggie Grey’s Sheraton Hotel in Samoa yesterday to address the leaders and delegates attending the forum.

Indonesia says protesters in Samoa should have had govt approval

At least 30 local people supporting the West Papua independence movement took part in a peaceful protest this week in front of the hotel where the Pacific Island Forum leaders’ summit is held in Samoa.

A member of Mr Yahya's delegation also accused one senior journalist of asking provoking questions in support of the West Papua issue.

The Ambassador said the reporter's questions was based on outdated information.

West Papua was one of the issues raised by the civil society delegation in this week's Forum leaders meeting.

Pacific Bishops discuss Climate change and West Papua

In their recent meet in Auckland, New Zealand, the ECFCB of Oceania (Australia, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, New Zealand, CEPAC- the rest of the Pacific discussed their knowledge, awareness and impacts of climate change in the region.

In a statement together, all the Bishops of the Pacific agreed that the place of the sea in the lives of the people would be a central focus of their meeting.

Human Rights Watch calls for more international scrutiny of West Papua

The organisation's Jakarta based researcher, Andreas Harsono made the call following an announcement last week that no more than five Papuan political prisoners remained behind bars in Papua and West Papua, down from 37 in 2016.

Mr Harsono said while the release of political prisoners was a positive step, more needed to be done to address serious human rights abuses committed by Indonesian security forces in the Papuan regions.

He said a UN special rapporteur on Freedom of Expression should be allowed to visit West Papua.

Indonesia rejects claims about ACP meeting

The ACP Council of Ministers in Brussels reportedly heard a joint statement on Papua from seven Pacific countries - Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Nauru, Palau and the Marshall Islands.

The statement condemned Indonesian human rights violations in Papua and called for a resolution supporting the right of West Papuan political self-determination.

However, Indonesia's embassy in New Zealand says the ACP agreed in April that the group would not cover the issue of Papua in future meetings.

Pacific nations back West Papuan self-determination

Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Nauru, Palau and the Marshall Islands delivered a joint statement at the ACP's Council of Ministers in Brussels.

It condemned Indonesian human rights violations in Papua, including alleged crimes against humanity and called for an eventual resolution that includes support of the right of West Papuan political self-determination.

Freeport and Jakarta compromise over Papua mining

Reuters reports that the losses appear to be pushing the Indonesian government and Freeport to resolve the row.