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West Papua, the elephant in the room as the C-24 meets in Bali

Australian West Papua Association (AWPA) Statement - May 24, 2023

The International Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories (NSGT) is commemorated annually from 25-31 May.

The Special Committee on Decolonization (C-24) will hold its 2023 Pacific Regional Seminar, in Bali, Indonesia, from 24 to 26 May.

Joe Collins of AWPA said, "although West Papua is not on the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories, it should be. Its 60 years since UNTEA transferred West Papua to Indonesian administration, who then unceremoniously removed it from the list. As for the so-called act of free choice held in 1969, it was a sham and referred to by West Papuans as the act of no choice".

The situation in West Papua is seriously deteriorating with ongoing human rights abuses in the territory.

There are regular Armed clashes between the Free Papua Movement and the Indonesian security forces. West Papuans continue to be arrested at peaceful demonstrations and Papuans risk being charged with treason for taking part in the rallies. The military operations in the highlands have created up to 60,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), many facing starvation because they fear returning to their food gardens because of the Indonesian security forces.

Recent armed clashes have also created new IDPs. New Zealand pilot Philip Mehrtens who has been held by the West Papuan National Liberation Army (TPNPB) for over 3 months, said the Indonesian army has been dropping bombs in the area where he's being held (in ABC News report April 26, 2023).

Although we cannot expect the C-24 to review the situation of West Papua (at this stage) as it would only bring to attention the complete failure by the UN to protect the people of West Papua, (although in the past NSGT has reinscribed colonies. https://news.un.org/en/story/2013/05/440012-general-assembly-adds-french-polynesia-un-decolonization-list)

Joe Collins said, "It is hoped as they meet in Bali that the C-24 members who would be well aware of the ongoing human rights abuses in West Papua committed by the Indonesian security forces, will urge Jakarta to allow the High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit West Papua on a fact -finding mission to report on the deteriorating human rights situation in the territory. It's the least they could do.


Source: https://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com/2023/05/awpa-statement-west-papua-elephant-in.htm