6 Feb 2015

PNG to do more on West Papua abuses, says O'Neill

3:24 pm on 6 February 2015

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister says more must be done to address abuses of West Papuan human rights in neighbouring Indonesia.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

In his strongest statement yet on the issue, Peter O'Neill told a PNG leaders summit that the Melanesian region cannot keep ignoring the plight of the indigenous Melanesians of Indonesia's eastern region.

It's a departure from his previous stance that West Papua problems were a domestic issue for Indonesia.

Mr O'Neill says images of the brutality metted out against West Papuans appear daily on social media.

"Sometimes we forget our own families, our own brothers, especially those in West Papua. I think as a country, the time has come for us to speak about the oppression of our people there."

Peter O'Neill says PNG must take the lead in mature discussions at the regional level about West Papua, suggesting he will look to engage more with Jakarta on the issue.