APSN Banner

PNG urges UN visit to West Papua

Radio New Zealand - September 3, 2019

Papua New Guinea has reiterated a call for UN representatives to visit West Papua amid widespread protests.

Indonesia has banned violent protests and separatist speeches in the two Papuan provinces, where at least 10 people have been killed and dozens arrested.

PNG's Foreign Minister Soroi Eoe told parliament today the latest unrest in Papua was a "sad situation".

He said PNG respects Indonesia's sovereignty, but the issue needs to be addressed by the office of the UN Human Rights Commissioner.

"Vanuatu has taken a step but Papua New Guinea has to be very careful as to how we address the issue because of the fact that we share the border. On the other side is West Papua, on this side is Papua New Guinea. So, our responsibility first is to our own people."

Responding to Soroi Eoe, opposition MP Garry Juffa warned Papuans displaced by the conflict could spill over the border to PNG.

In January, Indonesia made an invitation in principle to the Human Rights Commissioner's office, but this has not yet eventuated.

Prime Minister James Marape on Monday condemned the violence in Papua. "No human beings deserve to be killed, especially on their own land," he said in a televised press conference.

Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor called for calm in Papua, saying the recent turmoil made a UN visit even more important, according to a statement released on Monday.

At the forum's August meeting in Tuvalu, Pacific leaders called for the UN visit to be finalised.

Source: https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/398044/png-urges-un-visit-to-west-papua