West Papua

Papuan group says 20 arrested for Vanuatu cyclone fundraising

"This was a peaceful, compassionate action, with Papuans taking to the streets to raise money for those affected by this latest Pacific natural disaster," said Benny Wenda, president of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).

"The Indonesian response was to disband the march at the barrel of a gun.

"Armed Indonesian police sought to block activists at several points, forcibly disrupted the procession, and eventually conducted a series of arbitrary arrests."

Hostage situation: Pilots warned to take precautions in Papua, New Zealander says

This comes it was reported on Tuesday night that a New Zealander, working as a pilot for Susi Air, was taken hostage by separatist fighters in West Papua.

Reuters reported the West Papua National Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the pilot would not be released until the Indonesian government acknowledged the independence of West Papua.

The pilot was identified by Reuters as Captain Philip Merthens.

Lobby group bemoans 'missed opportunity' by Forum on West Papua

The Sydney-based Australia West Papua Association's spokesperson Joe Collins said the people of Indonesia-occupied West Papua see themselves as part of the Pacific community.

Collins said the outcomes statement by the Forum Leaders in Suva last week - which failed to mention West Papua - is a "missed opportunity" to help people who are suffering at the hands of Jakarta actions.

He said regional leaders must urge the Indonesian government to allow for a fact-finding mission to the territory.

Wenda likens Ukraine crisis to that of West Papua

Benny Wenda, who is the Interim President of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) says even as the world looks on in horror at Russia's invasion, West Papuans feel a special affinity to the Ukranian people.

"We feel their terror, we feel their pain and our solidarity is with these men, women and children. We see their suffering and we weep at the loss of innocent lives, the killing of children, the bombing of their homes, and for the trauma of refugees who are forced to flee their communities," Benny Wenda said.

Church leaders in Papua call for end to military operations

Pastor Alberto John Bunai headed a press conference to deliver the statement by the group of Catholic leaders at the Bright World of Christ Parish in Waena, Jayapura city, Papua province.

He said there had been dozens of ideological and political conflicts between indigenous Papuans and the Indonesian government, and that these conflicts had triggered armed violence in Papua to this day.

Vanuatu laments lack of action on West Papua at UN

Bob Loughman told the UN General Assembly that the indigenous people of West Papua continue to suffer human rights violations under Indonesian rule.

In recent years both the Pacific islands Forum and the African, Carribbean and Pacific Group of countries have sought UN scrutiny of the rights situation in Papua.

Both groups of countries had urged Indonesia to allow the UN Human Rights Commissioner's Office to visit Papua and provide an independent assessment.

"To date there has been little progress on this front," Loughman said.

Thousands displaced in latest West Papua violence: priest

Pro-independence fighters with the West Papua Liberation Army have been blamed for killing four Indonesian soldiers on an attack on a military post in Maybrat last week.

It's the latest violent in a series of attack by the Liberation Army in its ongoing campaign against the Indonesian state in Papua region.

As Indonesian security forces mounted a hunt for the killers in Maybrat, many local villagers feared getting caught up in the armed conflict

Vanuatu MP calls for pressure on Indonesia to allow UN visit to West Papua

Hundreds of soldiers have been deployed and a prominent independence campaigner arrested while internet has been cut following the death of a high ranking military general.

Regenvanu said Pacific Island countries must now ramp up pressure on Indonesia to allow a visit by the UN Human Rights High Commissioner to assess the situation there.

“What we're getting is two sides of a story, we need to get an independent assessment of what's happening,” he said.

West Papuan independence campaigner arrested

Victor Yeimo is the foreign spokesman for the West Papua National Committee, or KNPB, which has a large following in the Indonesian-ruled provinces of Papua region.

Yeimo has been on a police wanted list for treason suspects related to his alleged role in the widespread anti-racism protests in August and September 2019.

The protests in a number of cities and towns in the region followed highly publicised racist attacks on Papuan students in Java.

Fears Papuan civilians will bear the brunt after general killed

Brigadier General I Gusti Putu Danny Karya Nugraha, who was the chief intelligence official in Papua, was killed in an ambush by the West Papua Liberation Army in Puncak, in the central Highlands, on Sunday. The independence group has claimed the general's killing.

"He was in the area as part of the operation to restore security and to boost the morale of locals in the region following a series of attacks by separatist and terrorist groups," Wawan Purwanto, a spokesman for the National Intelligence Agency said.