19 Oct 2011

Papua congress calls for peaceful path to self-determination

2:06 pm on 19 October 2011

Participants at Papua's third national congress in Jayapura have reiterated a decades-old demand for self determination in the disputed Indonesian region.

The leader of Papua's Baptist church says about one-thousand representatives of Papua's 250 tribes are gathered at Cenderawasih University for the meeting, which began yesterday with the raising of the Papuan flag.

Reverend Socratez Sofyan Yoman says the university is surrounded by about two-and-a-half thousand Indonesian security personnel, both hidden and in cars.

"Round the congress is police and military TNI, they are watching there, they are there. They are put in their cars like the panther, but there's no problem. I think the international community is watching us, we aren't alone."

Reverend Socratez Sofyan Yoman says the delegates want Indonesia, the United Nations and the international community to recognise their political right to self-determination.