15 Nov 2018

Border area Papuans press home independence call to APEC

2:51 pm on 15 November 2018

A group of West Papuans based in the area around Indonesia's border with Papua New Guinea have called for APEC countries to support their independence aim.

APEC Port Moresby, PNG

Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Koroi Hawkins

Hundreds of members of the West Papua Interest Association this month entered PNG's Western Province in a campaign to raise awareness about issues around self-determination and human rights.

However, PNG border police advised the group not to conduct its campaign at this time, saying they wanted no disturbances during the period around this weekend's APEC leaders summit in Port Moresby.

But the Association yesterday proceeded with awareness activities in the remote border province.

It has issued a statement saying West Papua and PNG are "one island, one land... one culture, one race and one people", but that PNG is independent and West Papua still under occupation.

As indigenous New Guineans, the Association welcomed APEC countries to PNG for the summit.

It has urged APEC's 20 member countries other than Indonesia to support West Papuans' right to self-determination and independence.

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