25 May 2006

Calls for a peacekeeping mission Papua

7:20 am on 25 May 2006

The leader of the Koteka Tribal Assembly of West Papua, Benny Wenda, says an International peacekeeping mission is needed in the Indonesian province of Papua.

A statement by Mr Wenda was presented during the current session of the United Nation's Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues as he couldn't get to New York because of visa complications.

He says the forum should ask the U.N. to carry out a review of the so-called 1969 Act of Free Choice, hold a genuine referendum on the right to self determination, and place Papua on the decolonisation list.

Mr Wenda says in the meantime a peacekeeping force is needed to protect Papuans who are not getting access to basic things such as an education.

"Indonesia committed a crime against humanity in West Papua so we need the international UN Peacekeepers because now the people and students are hiding in the jungle. The Indonesian police and Indonesia government promise there is nothing happening in West Papua but the underground is still going and going and now the students are not going to school anymore."