7 Apr 2011

MSG facing credibility test over West Papua issue

3:16 pm on 7 April 2011

The Papua Peace Network says the credibility of the Melanesian Spearhead Group will be tested by its decision to grant Indonesia observer status.

The move has met with disapproval by many Papuan advocate groups who say West Papuans should have their own seat at the MSG.

But the Network's co-ordinator, Pastor Neles Tebay, says that the move could be a positive step if it helps facilitate a peaceful solution to the West Papua conflict.

He says Melanesian peoples want the MSG leaders to rise to the challenge of addressing the West Papua issue.

"The West Papuans know much about the MSG and they expect that the MSG will say something about the West Papua conflict. if West Papua is given the status of observer, the people will be glad. But if not, then the MSG should say something about how to settle the West Papua conflict."

Neles Tebay.