West Papua’s case heats up

Solomon Islands, Tonga join the cause

WEST Papua and its campaign to seek more international support for independence has gone up a few notches with Pacific Island Leaders discussing their plight at their annual summit in Papua New Guinea last month.

Two months after the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) secured observer status in the influential Melanesian Spearhead Group, and although Indonesia also got the nod through a strong PNG and Fijian push to have associate membership, the ULMWP has now got the full attention of the wider and bigger Pacific Island Forum membership.

It has recruited a new vocal supporter along the way, that of Tonga’s new Prime Minister, himself a long time pro-democracy campaigner and parliamentarian, ‘Akilisi Pohiva.

The Tongan leader joined his counterpart in the Solomon Islands, and current chair of the MSG Manasseh Sogavare in calling on the United Nations to address gross human right abuses in West Papua by Indonesia, when the world body held its annual general assembly session in New York last month.

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