16 Feb 2016

West Papuan Liberation movement opens office in Wamena

1:37 pm on 16 February 2016

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua has opened an office in the town of Wamena in the Highlands of Indonesia's Papua province.

The Secretary-General of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Octo Mote.

The Secretary-General of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Octo Mote. Photo: RNZI / Koroi Hawkins

The Movement comprises leading West Papuan political organisations, representing the indigenous people of Indonesia's Papua region at the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

A spokesman for the OPM National Liberation Army for West Papua, Sebby Sambom, said the Wamena office was opened with the support of the current MSG chairman, Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare.

The secretary-general of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Octo Mote (centre) and the Movement's Pacific regional ambassador Akaboo Amatus Douw to his right, talk to New Zealand MPs, Wellington 2015.

The secretary-general of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Octo Mote (centre) talks to New Zealand MPs in 2015. The ULMWP is building its international network. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

After being granted observer status at the MSG last year, the Movement continues to build its international network lobbying for Papuan self-determination.

It also has offices in Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.

Mr Sambom said he hoped the presence of a ULMWP office in Wamena would strengthen international support for Papuan independence.

Meanwhile, Kompas reports the Regional Military Commander, Major General Hinsa Siburian, as saying he has not received a report about the inauguration of the ULMWP office, but that the unitary republic of Indonesia remains firm.

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