9 Sep 2010

Indonesia accused of anti-NGO campaign in strife-torn Papua

1:34 pm on 9 September 2010

Indonesia's government has been accused of running a campaign to limit global awareness of Papua following its decision to ban another leading international NGO from working there.

Jakarta has refused to renew the agreement under which the Dutch development agency Cordaid has been operating in Papua region for more than three decades.

Cordaid programmes in Papua have focussed on social and economic development for the poor.

The government has voiced suspicion that Cordaid is supporting Papuan separatism although the agency denies this.

The West Papua Advocacy Team's Ed McWilliams says a pattern is emerging following Jakarta's move to force the International Committee of the Red Cross out of Papua last year.

"Targetting some of the most well established and most prestigious organisations. I think this essentially is an act of intimidation against other NGOs that basically will now be encouraged by these examples to restrict their activities even further."

Ed McWilliams