11 Jan 2016

MSG Chair calls for Forum mission to Papua

1:37 pm on 11 January 2016

The chairperson of the Melanesian Spearhead Group Manasseh Sogavare is calling on Indonesia to commission a fact finding mission to discuss the situation in West Papua with members of the Pacific Islands Forum.

The Solomon Islands prime minister made the call as he welcomed what he described as Indonesia's change of strategy on West Papua and its approach towards West Papuan separatists.

Alluding to last year's release of high-profile Papuan freedom fighter Filep Karma, the Solomon Islands prime minister says the decision to release Mr Karma is encouraging and speaks well of the Indonesian president Joko Widodo's policies to bring peace to Papua.

Papuan women sell produce in an old market in Sentani

Papuan women sell produce in an old market in Sentani Photo: RNZI/Koroi Hawkins

Mr Sogavare however says Jokowi's three-pronged approach of welfare, security and dialogue must be consultative to avoid simply paying lip service to the indigenous people of West Papua.

He says the MSG remains committed to a spirit of positive and constructive dialogue to promote welfare and bring peace and security to West Papua.

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