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Free West Papua campaigners convene for inaugural meeting in Jayapura

Radio New Zealand - November 21, 2023

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) is holding its first ever congress in Jayapura.

Five thousand West Papuans from all seven regions are in Port Numbay, Jayapura, for the three day gathering.

The congress was called in response to the ULMWP leaders' summit in Vanuatu, where the leaders announced that they had unilaterally dissolved the ULMWP provisional government, angering many.

Two groups within the ULMWP, the People's Forum and Congress Committee have issued a rejection of the decision, saying it was undertaken outside of the ULMWP constitution.

"The people consider that the leaders have violated the Constitution where leadership and constitutional bodies must be appointed and born through Congress, not the Summit," ULMWP Congress Committee said in a statement.

The ULMWP Congress chairman Bazooka Logo said "today (Monday) is the day when the momentum of the West Papuan people will determine who their leader will be who will lead the struggle for the independence of the West Papuan people [and] as well as the agenda of the Papuan people's struggle for independence."

"To all the participants [West Papuan people], this is an important moment that will really determine your future. For this reason, use your sovereign rights which are guaranteed constitutionally by the ULMWP in the ULMWP Constitution properly until the Congress is finished."

Both group also demand the right to elect their own leaders, as provided for by its provisional constitution, not have them rotated in and out of power.

The Congress will end with the announcement of the results of the ULMWP leadership election.

Source: https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/502933/free-west-papua-campaigners-convene-for-inaugural-meeting-in-jayapur