2 May 2013

West Papua group fears Indonesia may move further into Melanesia

4:50 am on 2 May 2013

A member of a West Papuan group working for dialogue with Jakarta says that neighbouring Papua New Guinea is at risk of eventual invasion by Indonesia.

The comment from US-based Octo Mote, who is part of the dialogue group of exiled West Papuans, comes as Melanesian governments indicate that West Papua may be granted membership in their regional grouping.

He says membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group would lend crucial weight to the West Papuan self-determination struggle.

West Papuans are on track to become a clear minority in Indonesia's Papua region in the coming years which Mr Mote says could be a catalyst for Indonesian moves further into Melanesia.

"So after we become a minority in our land, next target is really Papua New Guinea. In order to protect the whole New Guinea island, I see this support by the Melanesian leaders right now is important."

Octo Mote.