West Papua

Vanuatu backs West Papuan bid for full MSG membership

The Liberation Movement already has observer status in the regional group whose full members are Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia's Kanaks.

The application was presented to the MSG Secretariat in Port Vila on behalf of the ULMWP by Vanuatu's Special Envoy for the Decolonisation of West Papua to the Pacific Islands States, Lora Lini.

Ms Lini told RNZI the application follows recent establishment of new membership criteria by a MSG sub-committee on regional and institutional issues.


Vanuatu minister wants stronger West Papua stance

Vanuatu is a strong proponent of West Papuan self-determination from Indonesia and has taken the battle for decolonisation to the global stage.

Mr Reganvanu said West Papua was discussed at the Forum Foreign Ministers' meeting last year where an existing resolution about constructive engagement with Indonesia was kept.

However, he said that resolution now needs to be upgraded.

Indonesia jails Polish tourist who met with Papuan rebels

Jakub Skrzypski was arrested in August after he was accused of plotting to sell arms to the West Papua Liberation Army.

His lawyer, Latifah Anum Siregar, says Mr Skrzypski was sentenced on Thursday to five years imprisonment by judges at Wamena City Court.

His co-defendant, Papuan student Simon Magal, was jailed for four years for allegedly communicating with Mr Skrzypski.

Prosecutors had sought a 10-year sentence for both men.

Ms Siregar says she will appeal the decision at a Papuan High Court.


Photo by Veronica Koman/Twitter

UNHRC told thousands of Papuans displaced by violence

The claims were part of presentations to the council by the West Papua National Committee, or KNPB, on Wednesday in Geneva.

KNPB spokesperson Victor Yeimo told the council's 40th session that Indonesian military forces in Nduga have violated Papuans' human rights.

"Joint military and police operation started last December in [the] Nduga region, [causing] excessive use of force. More than 2000 people have become IDPs [internally displaced people], houses were burned down and more than 25 civilians were dead."

West Papua group's office shutdown sparks fears

The KNPB said its headquarters in Jayapura and Asmat were shuttered by military and police in December.

On Thursday, committee members in the Southern city of Timika were forced out of their offices by at least 80 officers.

It will now be used as a joint military-police post.

Edo Dogopia, a member of the group based in Timika, said he's afraid other locations in Papua could be targeted as well.

"I am feeling worried because this is our place.


Scores of West Papuan activists arrested in Jayapura

The KNPB said 104 of its members were taken in to custody after police searched a student dormitory in the Papua provincial capital.

A discussion to mark the tenth anniversary of the pro-independence organisation's inception had been about to take place.

The KNPB said the executive director the United Liberation Movement for West Papua Markus Haluk was also arrested.


Vanuatu calls for multi-pronged approach to West Papuan struggle for self-determination

The Daily Post newspaper reports that Elisabeth van Vliet's opinion is that all international avenues are not fully utilised to press the West Papuan's position forward.

Mrs Vliet suggested that both the International War Crime Court in The Hague and the UN Decolonisation Committee in New York should both be used by those standing for the demands of the Melanesian people of West Papua.

She made the remarks during her diplomatic visit to consult with the Vanuatu government in Port Vila.

Vanuatu to take West Papua cause to UN

The Vanuatu prime minister, Charlot Salwai, is to take the draft of this resolution to the Pacific Islands Forum summit in Nauru next month.

The Daily Post reported this comes after Vanuatu presented the draft during last week's Pacific foreign ministers' meeting in Apia.

The newspaper reported that at the Apia meeting Vanuatu got support from some Forum members but Australia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji reportedly expressed reservations.

Vanuatu appoints special West Papua envoy

Ms Lini is the daughter of Walter Lini, who is known as the founding father of the Pacific nation.

The United Liberation Movement of West Papua has welcomed the move with spokesperson Jacob Rumbiak saying they are pleased and impressed and thank Vanuatu Foreign Minister Ralph Regenvanu for the appointment.

"Melanesian sovereignty runs deep in the veins of all ni-Vanuatu, and especially in Laura's family," Mr Rumbiak said.

"In the 1970s both West Papua and Vanuatu were struggling for their independence.

Indonesian influence in the Pacific grows, despite Papua disquiet

The West Papuan independence movement has significant traction in the region, where it continues to push for its self-determination aspirations to be addressed by the international community.

Considering Papua's political status as non-negotiable, Indonesia has been busy strengthening ties with a number of countries in the three Pacific Islands regions of Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia.