25 Jul 2006

West Papuan separatists try to bring all activities under one umbrella

8:00 pm on 25 July 2006

West Papuan separatists are trying to unify their activities in the Indonesian province of Papua.

Representatives from all six commands of what is called the West Papuan National Army have been meeting for the past 3 days in Madang, Papua New Guinea.

The meeting's facilitator, Jonah Wenda, says the aim of the meeting was to bring all Papua groups opposed to Indonesian rule under one umbrella.

Mr Wenda says an organised structure will help address the problems with communications across the wide and remote territory.

"This will mean that we organise ourselves, and keep in touch with other groups like political groups or other regional command, and they will have communications so that they can share information so that they can support this idea for solving issues through peaceful means."

Jonah Wenda says holding the meeting has been risky with up to 9 delegates stopped at the PNG border and sent back to Indonesia where, he says, their lives are in danger.