6 Sep 2019

NZ 'deeply concerned' by West Papua violence

7:21 am on 6 September 2019

New Zealand's government says it's "deeply concerned" by recent violence in Indonesia's West Papua during protests which have rocked the country.

Protesters march in Jayapura.

Protesters march in Jayapura. Photo: Whens Tebay

At least 10 people have been killed in separate clashes between Papuan demonstrators, security forces and vigilante mobs.

Dozens of protestors and activists have been arrested by Indonesian police, which have deployed thousands of extra personnel to the region.

New Zealand's Foreign Ministry said it was closely monitoring the security situation and has raised concerns with Indonesian authorities.

It said it has encouraged Indonesia to facilitate a visit to Papua by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, reiterating a call from the Pacific Islands Forum.

"We have urged Indonesia to respect and protect the human rights of all its citizens," a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said.

"New Zealand recognises Papua as part of Indonesia's sovereign territory. We continue to encourage Indonesia to promote peaceful social and economic development in Papua."

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