The West Papua National Liberation Army kills Indonesian soldiers

The West Papua National Liberation Army kills Indonesian soldiers

Kanako Mita, Sawako Utsumi, and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) recently killed Indonesian soldiers after an ambush. West Papuans are fighting for independence and the right to be free from the colonial policies of Indonesia.

TPNPB forces attacked Indonesian soldiers in the district of Nduga. Conflicting reports say between 6 and 13 Indonesian troops were killed.

West Papua is rich in minerals. However, its resources are exploited by Indonesia – and other nations -which allows their companies to plunder the natural resources of West Papua. At the same time, Indonesia is altering the ethnic and religious angle of West Papua – similar to other colonial nations in history. Therefore, Javanization and Islamization are the twin aims of Indonesia.

The Independent reports, “An Indonesian army report circulating among journalists said there were about 36 soldiers at the post in Mugi Mam village when the separatists launched their attack with automatic weapons, killing at least six troops and sending 21 others fleeing into the jungle. It said nine soldiers were being held by the rebels.”

Sebby Sambom, a spokesperson for the TPNPB, said: “Indonesia’s government must stop its security operation in Papua and be willing to negotiate with our leaders under the mediation of a neutral third party from a United Nations agency.” 

Al Jazeera reports, “Papua’s Melanesian population shares few cultural connections with the rest of Indonesia, and the military has long been accused of human rights abuses there.”

Indonesian troops are searching for Phillip Mark Mehrtens (New Zealand pilot) who was captured by TPNPB forces.

The Guardian reports, “Indonesia has controlled West Papua since invading in 1963 and formalizing its annexation through the controversial, UN approved, ‘Act of Free Choice’. Security forces are accused of severe human rights violations during the occupation with an estimated 500,000 Papuans killed.”

Modern Tokyo Times recently said: “America, Australia, France, Japan, the United Kingdom – and other major trading partners of Indonesia including China, India, Malaysia, and Singapore – are merely concerned with economic trade, geopolitics (America and Australia), military sales, and exploiting natural resources.”

West Papua needs independence and to be free from the colonial policies of Indonesia.

The BBC reports, “West Papua has a population of more than 5.4 million people. The indigenous Papuans, who are Melanesian, are now thought to be outnumbered by settlers from other parts of the archipelago. Indonesia is ethnically very diverse, with the Javanese at around 100 million the largest group.”

Papuan civilization is different from Indonesia. This concerns culture, ethnicity, history, identity, and religion. Accordingly, the indigenous of this rich resource region seek to be independent.

Australian Foreign Affairs reports (Dominic Simonelli)“…successive Australian governments have turned a blind eye to Indonesia’s brutal oppression and economic exploitation of the indigenous peoples of West Papua, prioritizing cooperation with Indonesia over the welfare of West Papuans. Indonesia’s pervasive abuse of ethnic Papuans has become institutionalized in the decades since its independence. Left unchecked by foreign powers, the West Papuan crisis is the Asia-Pacific’s “silent genocide”.

West Papua needs urgent action from the international community.

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