15 Oct 2013

West Papua activists flag 'independence' anniversary for celebration

11:00 pm on 15 October 2013

Pro-independence activists in the remote Indonesian province of West Papua are planning to mark the anniversary of what they say was their declaration of independence.

At the Third Papuan People's Congress on October the 19th 2011, a large gathering of West Papuans declared the independence of the Federal Republic of West Papua and elected Forkorus Yaboisembut as their President.

Mr Yaboisembut was arrested by Indonesian authorities and remains in prison, along with other activists.

Yoab Syatfle, an activist who says he represents Mr Yaboisembut, says he is warning the local authorities as well as those in Jakarta that people will mark the anniversary on October the 19th and may raise the banned Morning Star flag.

Mr Syatfle says he is seeking recognition of West Papua from the United Nations and regional groups such as the Melanesian Spearhead Group.