9 Dec 2014

United West Papua movement 'significant', says Wenda

5:42 pm on 9 December 2014

A spokesperson for the newly-formed United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Benny Wenda, says its creation is one of the West Papua independence movement's most significant steps in dealing with Indonesia.

March in support of West Papua in Vanuatu's Port Vila

March in support of West Papua in Vanuatu's Port Vila Photo: RNZI / Hilaire Bule

The group is made up of the KNPB, the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation and the Federal Republic of West Papua and is intended to create a unified voice for West Papua on political fronts.

It was set up in Vanuatu, which backs the West Papuans' self-determination drive.

Mr Wenda says the group is working on re-applying for membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, which was knocked back earlier this year because its bid was deemed not representative.

Mr Wenda says now a unified bid has been created, he is confident West Papua will be admitted to the MSG.

"Through this unification we are the ultimate because we are Melanesian, geographically and racially - we are Melanesia. So that's why I'm really confident that we will be a full member next year."

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs