2 Oct 2007

Papuan coalition seeks deal with Jakarta through Finnish mediation

3:45 pm on 2 October 2007

The West Papua Coalition for National Liberation has embarked on a fresh drive for negotiations on greater democracy and self-determination for Papuans in Indonesia.

The Coalition has also appealed to Jakarta to withdraw its troops from the region.

Pro-independence groups within the Coalition are demanding a peace dialogue with Indonesia with third-party mediators.

A spokesperson for the Coalition, Paula Makabori, says they've written to Indonesia's president, asking for negotiations with the government to be supervised by an internationally recognised mediator.

She says Finland, which helped broker a peace agreement between Indonesia's government and the Free Aceh Movement in 2005, is willing to fill that role.

"They offered themselves when some of the West Papuans went there. And then for us, Finland is likely because Finland has nothing to do with Indonesia and also West Papua. So we would like to have a mediator which has no interest in West Papua or even Indonesia, so it will stay neutral."

Paula Makabori