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Articles on West Papua

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Members of Free West Papua Campaign Netherlands demonstrate in The Hague last September against excessive violence in West Papua by the Indonesian army. Remko de Waal/EPA

How the world failed West Papua in its campaign for independence

International political dynamics sabotaged West Papuans' attempts to ride the waves of decolonisation efforts by Asian and African countries throughout the 1940s to the 1960s.
Indigenous Marind in West Papua consider the forest and its plants and animals as kin. These culturally valued multispecies relations, however, are being disrupted by oil palm development projects. Sophie Chao

In West Papua, oil palm expansion undermines the relations of indigenous Marind people to forest plants and animals

Indigenous Marind in West Papua consider the forest and its plants and animals as kin. These culturally valued multispecies relations, however, are being disrupted by oil palm development projects.
Political arrests have been on the rise in recent years in restive West Papua, and the local population is pushing for a new referendum on independence. Frans/EPA

Riots in West Papua: why Indonesia needs to answer for its broken promises

Violence has returned to West Papua over the arrests of students for allegedly desecrating a flag. So much for the new push for reconciliation under Indonesia President Joko Widodo.
The recent arrests of nearly 1,500 protesters in Jayapura are part of a broader systematic oppression of Papuans by the Indonesian government. Reuters/Darren Whiteside

Finding a dignified resolution for West Papua

Solving the problem of West Papua in a dignified manner should involve not only Indonesian authorities but also Papuans and the international community.
Joko Widodo is surrounded by politicians and military generals with agendas that are unlikely to help the Papuans. EPA/Mast Irham

Papuans and Jokowi are hostage to Indonesian politics

The future of Papuans remains subject to the swirling mists of Indonesian national and international political intrigue.
The Australian government, by supporting a motion passed by the Senate, expressed concern over restrictions to press freedom in West Papua. AAP Image/Sue Wellwood

Q&A: Australia’s reaction to arrest of French journalists in West Papua

The Australian Senate passed a motion last week, with explicit support from the Foreign Minister’s office, expressing concern over the imprisonment of two French journalists for reporting in Indonesia’s…
Three West Papuan activists ‘took refuge’ in Australia’s consulate in Bali on the weekend. What is the actual state of play in the troubled region? EPA/Bagus Indahono

Will Australia take a stand on West Papua?

Recent commentary has compared the situation in West Papua to genocide and drawn parallels to East Timor. There seems to be little doubt that human rights abuses have occurred over a long period of time…
West Papuan refugee Amos Wainggai is on board the Freedom Flotilla, headed for Papuan shores from Australia. What will it mean for our relations with Indonesia? AAP/Cleo Mary Fraser

What will the West Papua flotilla mean for Australia-Indonesia relations?

Given the extreme sensitivity with which the issue of West Papua is viewed in Indonesia, the “Freedom Flotilla” heading from Australia to the Indonesian-controlled territory is sure to create tension…
Asylum seekers and West Papua will be high on the agenda for Kevin Rudd’s talks with his PNG counterpart Peter O'Neill. AAP/Alan Porritt

Refugees and rebels set to dominate Rudd’s PNG visit

As Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd lands in Port Moresby to meet with his Papua New Guinean counterpart Peter O'Neill, several conundrums are set to tax his mind and diplomatic skills. Front and centre…
There’s more to the West Papua story than men in Bambi suits. Kayt Davies

Australian media only tells half the story about West Papua

Last friday a picture story appeared on page three of The Age that was ostensibly about events in West Papua. The story was pitched as a quirky yarn, replete with a wacky Disney character, a kilt (always…
West Papuan activists protesting at the Hague for independence of the Indonesian-held province. Apdency/Wikimedia Commons

All the ingredients for genocide: is West Papua the next East Timor?

Allegations that Australia is funding death squads in West Papua have brought the troubled province back to Australian attention. Blanket denials by both Indonesian and Australian governments – standard…

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