17 Nov 2018

Leading West Papuan independence fighter dies

2:25 pm on 17 November 2018

A regional commander of the Free West Papua Movement (Organisasi Papua Merdeka - OPM) has died.

Bernard Mawen

Bernard Mawen Photo: Damien Faure

Bernard Mawen was the Southern Commander of the OPM, based in the region abutting Indonesia's border with Papua New Guinea.

He was one of the few remaining Papuan independence fighters who had helped establish the OPM in the 1960s.

Based in the bush, General Mawen's struggle against Indonesian rule continued in the intervening decades, although in recent years it has focussed on non-violent resistance.