West Papua

Jakarta urged to open up on Papua

Several days ago, leaders of a number of Pacific Island countries raised concern at the UN general assembly about alleged human rights abuses against West Papuans.

West Papua remains a part of Indonesia: PNG Govt

This follows the attendance of the PNG delegation led by Foreign Affairs Minister, Rimbink Pato, to the United Nations General Assembly meeting where several Pacific Island nations raised the West Papua issue.

Minister Pato responded, during a media conference today, saying that PNG’s position has been clear as announced during various regional meetings.

“We have a very strong relationship with government and people of Indonesia, we have a whole range of agreements and treaties that govern our relationship,” said Pato.

Indonesia accuses Pacific countries of interference

RNZ reports the accusation during the UN General Assembly came after leaders from six Pacific countries - Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Nauru, the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu - expressed concern about human rights abuses in Papua.

Calls for Papuan self-determination rights to be respected were also made by some of the leaders during this 71st session of the general assembly debate.

"Human rights violations in West Papua and the pursuit for self-determination of West Papua are two sides of the same coin," said the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare.

More arrests of Papuans planning to rally

Over the weekend 21 members of the West Papua National Committee, or KNPB, were arested by police in Yakuhimo regency as they distributed leaflets about a planned peaceful rally to be held today.

KNPB Chairman, Victor Yeimo, said the rally was to show support for the Pacific countries who are members of the Pacific Islands Coalition on West Papua.

The Coalition plans to raise issues of human rights abuses in West Papua, and Papuans' self-determination struggle, at the United Nations General Assembly.

Pacific leaders say little on Papua

A year ago Pacific leaders at their annual talkfest agreed to send a fact-finding mission to Papua to investigate allegations of human rights abuse.

But Indonesia was against it so the Pacific Islands Forum mission to Papua never happened.

At this year's Forum summit in Pohnpei alleged human rights abuses in Papua still featured in the communique but there is no commitment to try and do anything specific about it.

However Joe Collins of the Australia West Papua Association told Don Wiseman that this is still better than most recent years at the Forum summit.

Forum called out for hollow talk on Papua

RNZ reports following last week's Forum leaders summit in Pohnpei, regional civil society groups have voiced disappointment at what they see as a lack of any outcome or substance on the issue of West Papua.

Papua had been one of the big regional issues identified by the Forum secretary-general Dame Meg Taylor as being on the leaders' agenda, ahead of the summit.

However in the end, leaders merely concluded that the issue of alleged human rights violations in West Papua should remain on their agenda.

Pacific women call for investigation of women's rights in West Papua

RNZ the call comes from the Pacific Women's Network Against Violence Against Women which represents policy makers and front line workers from 13 Pacific countries.

Representatives of women from West Papua attended the networks 7th meeting in Fiji last week and raised some critical issues and gaps in service delivery for victims of gender violence in West Papua.

The director of Tonga's Women and Children Crisis Centre, Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki said the network stands in solidarity with women from West Papua.

Forum urged to act decisively on West Papua

RNZ reports for years Papuans have claimed they have been denied basic rights, particularly self-determination, and are constantly subject to Indonesian state oppression.

Demographic change in the region has also left Papuans fast becoming a minority, dominated by Indonesian culture, and has added urgency to the latest call by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) for help from the Pacific Islands Forum.

No place for the ULMWP in the future of the MSG: Indonesia

After years of building rapport, intensive lobbying and projecting itself as the benevolent giant in the region, Jakarta was afforded an opportunity to make its case for the inclusive development of its easternmost provinces and dispel any separatist sentiment.

The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), an important subregional grouping of Pacific island countries, has denied full membership to the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).

ULMWP accepts MSG decision and calls for greater support of West Papua

ULMWP Spokesperson, Benny Wenda, said this could be seen as a delay tactic but ULMWP acknowledges the technical issues highlighted by the leaders and senior officials of the MSG.

The MSG special leaders summit on the 14th of July in the Solomon Islands had agreed to defer the consideration of the application for full membership by ULMWP until membership criteria and guidelines are further developed.