6 Jun 2012

Forum security officials urged not to ignore Papua violence

1:53 pm on 6 June 2012

There's a call for officials from Pacific Island countries not to ignore the continuing violence in Indonesia's Papua region as the Forum's Regional Security Committee meets in Suva this week.

The Papua conflict has cost thousands of lives since Indonesia seized control of the former Dutch colony.

The Forum's secretary general, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, has told the delegates the onus is on them to coordinate national and regional security initiatives and to close gaps exploited by criminals.

While the Forum has avoided discussing the Papua issue in recent years, Joe Collins of the Australian West Papua Association says they can't ignore the violence.

"They do talk about being inclusive to all the Pacific people and West Papuan people are Melanesian people, are Pacific people and they are the people that are actually suffering not only human rights abuses, they are being killed. There have been a large number of shootings."