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KNPB holds solidarity action in Jayapura supporting Kanaky independence

Jubi - June 10, 2024

Larius Kogoya, Jayapura – Hundreds of protesters from the Central West Papua National Committee (KNPB) together with KNPB Sentani and KNPB Port Numbay held a solidarity action supporting a referendum and the liberation of Kanaky, New Caledonia, from French colonialism.

During the action in Jayapura city, Papua, on Monday June 10, the KNPB protesters marched along the highway from the lower Cenderawasih University (Uncen) campus in Abepura to the Waena III State Housing Company (Perumnas) traffic circle.

While marching a speaker with a megaphone called out loudly "Free-Free Kanaky", which was greeted by the protesters with "Free-Free Kanaky". This was followed by the call "Free West Papua", which was also greeted by the protesters with "Free West Papua".

During the seven kilometre or so march, the demonstrators carried Kanaky and KNPB flags and a banner reading "End Settler Colonialism and Free Kanaky".

KNPB Central Chairperson Warius Sampari Wetipo said that as colonised nation, West Papua is now standing together with the Kanak indigenous people to push for a process of decolonisation of the Kanak nation without the intervention of colonial migrants.

"We the West Papua nation, support the pro-independence position of Kanaky so that the right to full self-determination is returned to the Kanak nation whose identity and ancestors actually come from Kanaky", said Wetipo in reading a KNPB statement at the action.

Wetipo explained that "Settler Colonialism" is a form of colonialism that aims to replace the indigenous people from a colonised territory with settlers or invaders. Laws that recognise migrants are a tactic of the invaders to continue the colonisation. The West Papua and Kanaky people share the same fate, namely they are both colonised.

"It's just like what Indonesia is doing in West Papua where the majority of the population are migrants, brought in by the invaders to fill West Papua, so that they vote and head up all political positions in West Papua. They will make the Papuan people a minority in number and quality, then they will control all aspects of life in West Papua", said Warpo as he is known to by his friends.

Wetipo continued saying the ethnic Melanesian people in the Pacific region are sisters and brothers of the same race. Therefore, the suffering of the Kanaky nation is the suffering of the West Papua nation and the suffering of Kanaky is the suffering of the Melanesian family.

"We support a referendum for the Kanaky nation to be free from French colonial colonialism. Their suffering is our suffering. A referendum for Kanaky must be carried out without involving migrants so that the Kanak nation can determine its own destiny", he said.

In their statement, the KNPB emphasized that its solidarity is so that France will stop amendments to the constitution that accommodate the tens of thousands of colonial migrants becoming voters. The KNPB called for the indigenous Kanak people to be given the fullest possible right to self-determination.

They also called for the French government to immediately negotiate with the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS) in order to ensure a fair referendum for the Kanak indigenous people.

With regard to the Pacific regional leadership, the KNPB is asking the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) and the United Nations to be actively involved in urging the French government to truly realise the decolonisation of the Kanak nation by adhering to the principles of Chapter XI Article 73 of the UN Charter.

And in line with the decolonisation process in New Caledonia (Kanaky), the KNPB also stated that West Papua is again demanding that the Indonesian colonial authorities stop the occupation by corporations, the occupation by colonialists and the occupation of the colonial military. They also asked Indonesia to immediately push for a decolonisation process for the Papuan people in the territory of West Papua.

Field coordinator Yanius Silak said the solidarity action by the KNPB and the people of Papua supporting the liberation of Kanaky proceeded well from the gathering point to their arrival at the Waena III Perumnas where they read out a statement.

"During the long-march, we informed the Papuan people and the public that the Kanaky nation shares the same fate as Papuan people today. Kanaky's suffering is the suffering of the Papuan people. Everything proceeded well [during the demonstration] until it ended earlier", said Silak.

The Heram district sectoral police (Polsek) deployed scores of security personnel after the demonstrators arrived at the Perumnas. From Jubi's observations, negotiations between the protesters and police proceeded smoothly until the action ended at 5 pm and the demonstrators voluntarily disbanded.


The terms "Kanak" referring to the indigenous Melanesian inhabitants of New Caledonia and "Kanaky" referring to the indigenous term for French New Caledonia were used interchangeably in the original article.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "KNPB gelar aksi massa dukung referendum Kanaky".]

Source: https://jubi.id/polhukam/2024/knpb-gelar-aksi-massa-dukung-referendum-kanaky