Kanako Mita, Sawako Utsumi, and Lee Jay Walker – The indigenous of West Papua suffer from international capitalist exploitation, Indonesian exploitation, and the demographic and religious timebomb of Javanization, Islamization, and other non-indigenous ethnic groups exploiting this land. However, despite the severity of the crisis concerning decades of brutality: America, the European Union (EU), Japan, and the G7 nations don't care about West Papua to any serious degree.
Even worse, the nations that assist Ukraine with tens of billions of military arms – and who enforce economic sanctions on the Russian Federation – are the same nations that exploit West Papua. Hence, for many decades the Javanization and Islamization of West Papua continue unabated. After all, international democracies focus on the exploitation of resources and geopolitics.
Indonesia – along with America, the EU, Japan, and other G7 nations – exploit the natural resources of West Papua. At the same time, other ethnic groups who also fear for their survival face the same policies of internal and external exploitation in Indonesia.
UN News recently reported, "Between April and November 2021, we have received allegations indicating several instances of extrajudicial killings, including of young children, enforced disappearance, torture and inhuman treatment and the forced displacement of at least 5,000 indigenous Papuans by security forces."
The Guardian says, "Indonesia has controlled West Papua since invading in 1963 and formalizing its annexation through the controversial, UN approved, 'Act of Free Choice'. Security forces are accused of severe human rights violations during the occupation with an estimated 500,000 Papuans killed."
The new leader of Australia is following a similar path to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan. Hence, collective amnesia of Australia and Japan concerning West Papua. Therefore, while Kishida and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia – rattle on about Ukraine: they both remained remarkedly sheepish about West Papua during their respective visits to Indonesia.
Astonishingly, while West Papua suffers, America and France just announced major military contracts with Indonesia once more. America said, "The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Indonesia of F-15ID Aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $13.9 billion."
Prabowo Subianto, the Defense Minister of Indonesia, uttered (concerning France), "We are planning to acquire 42 Rafale aircraft... We started this today with the signing of a contract for six aircraft, to be followed soon with another for 36 with necessary support and simulators..."
Special Rapporteurs (United Nations initiative) looking into events in West Papua are extremely alarmed by the ongoing crisis. UN News reports, "We are particularly disturbed by reports that humanitarian aid to displaced Papuans is being obstructed by the authorities."
They continued, "In several incidents, church workers have been prevented by security forces from visiting villages where IDPs are seeking shelter."
Indonesia's trading partners – who talk about human rights in Ukraine – are forgiving when it comes to Indonesia and other parts of the world where the indigenous are exploited. Nobody expects China to focus on human rights because they have internal issues in Tibet and Xinjiang. However, the hypocrisy of other leading trading partners – including America and Japan – is astonishing concerning their actions toward the Russian Federation. After all, both nations fully understand that roughly two million people have been killed since the 1960s related to the massacre of Communists (US and UK supplied intelligence to Indonesia), East Timor (now independent and called Timor-Leste), and the ongoing brutality in West Papua that ties in with enormous demographic and religious changes that further marginalizes the Papuans.
The Organization for World Peace reports, "Indonesia's incremental colonization of West Papua since the sixties has been exceptionally cruel as well. Kjell Anderson says that Indonesians, much like their former Dutch overlords, perceived Papuans as primitive savages impeding the inevitable progress of "modernity": namely, the exploitation of West Papua's ample oil and copper reserves. Whenever Papuans tried to resist Jakarta's trans-migration schemes, which flooded thousands of Javanese settlers into West Papua and turned the indigenous population into a minority in its own territory, the Indonesian military reacted with extreme and indiscriminate violence."
The endless exploitation of West Papua's rich minerals, timber, marine resources, and so on continues unabated by Indonesia and international capitalist companies that care nothing about human rights. Hence, the role of regional nations – notably Australia and New Zealand – is shocking because the same pattern happened in East Timor until the last moment when Indonesia could no longer rule by fear.
West Papua needs international support. If not, the further marginalization of the indigenous will reduce them to a small minority which in time will resemble what happened to countless indigenous people throughout history – from the Aborigines to the Assyrians – from the Ainu, Native Americans, the Coptics, Yazidis, and too many to mention.
Human rights shouldn't be a geopolitical tool of America, the EU, Japan, and the G7 nations. Instead, human rights and the freedom of the indigenous should come to the fore. It goes without saying, the same applies to cutting capitalist ratlines that violate the natural resources of indigenous groups by doing deals with nations that exploit them – the array of deeds against West Papua is a prime example, sadly!