6 Jul 2006

Papuan separatist leader calls for international help

3:35 pm on 6 July 2006

A Papuan separatist leader has called for international help in the face of what he calls genocide in the Indonesian province.

The Kotega Tribal Chairman, Benny Wenda, also claims that Indonesia could wipe out the Melanesian people of Papua within a generation.

Mr Wenda was speaking after he delivered a petition containing 730 signatures to the office of the British Prime Minister in London this week.

"We know that Indonesia committed crimes against humanity in West Papua. We're now calling it genocide. So, people who love human beings, please help. Because, in almost 25 years or 50 years, my people will disappear from this earth."

The British All-Party Parliamentary Group on West Papua had earlier called for an EU fact-finding mission to Papua, and for it to include Amnesty International, other human rights groups, and foreign journalists.

There has been no response from the Indonesian Embassy in London to Mr Wenda's claims.