4 Apr 2005

US Congressman welcomes UN moves to look into human rights abuses in Papua

3:46 pm on 4 April 2005

American Samoa's member of the US Congress, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, has welcomed the news that the United Nations will be looking into the human rights issue in Papua.

He says atrocities on the people are being committed everyday, villages are being burned, with more than 50-thousand troops in the area.

But Faleomavaega says he's more than happy that the situation in Papua is being looked at.

"The United Nations is looking into the West Papuan issue in terms of human rights violations. The 37 members of the Congress' black caucus has signed a petition that I initiated in the Congress to request the secretary general Kofi Annan re-evaluate and re-examine thoroughly what happened to West Papua. The bottomline: they need to be given the same right to self-determination that we've done for East Timor."

The Congressman is also calling for Pacific Island Forum countries to support the Papua issue by putting pressure on the United Nations.