20 Aug 2014

Little hope for Papua with Widodo, says Wenda

7:50 pm on 20 August 2014

An exiled West Papuan independence activist, Benny Wenda, says he doubts Indonesia's newly elected president, Joko Widodo, will make any difference to the suffering of his people under Indonesia's military stranglehold.

The Vanuatu Daily Post reports Mr Wenda, who is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, as saying his people won't seek the support of the new president to help them.

He says what is important is that 80 percent of West Papuans have boycotted Indonesia's election.

Vanuatu, which has been a lone supporter of West Papuans on the international stage, is to host a conference for leaders of the West Papua pro-independence movement.

The gathering, which is supported by the Vanuatu Christian Council and Vanuatu National Council of Chiefs, is to work on a new West Papuan application to join the Melanesian Spearhead Group.