15 Jun 2012

Faleomavaega worried about more Papua bloodshed

7:24 am on 15 June 2012

American Samoa's representative in the US Congress says he fears the bloodshed in the continued pursuit by West Papuans for independence.

Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin has monitored events in Indonesia's Papua region and urged Jakarta to take steps to reduce the ongoing violence there

and to improve implementation of the region's special autonomy status.

Faleomavaega says Indonesia's President is committed to the idea of special autonomy for Papua.

But he concedes many West Papuans consider the status a failure and that they prefer the idea of independence.

"There is going to have to be a lot of blood drawn from that option and I don't know... I'm certainly not supportive of the idea of putting people - men, women and children - in the streets because, let's face it, the military in Indonesia have the guns and bullets and the West Papuans only have arrows, bows and stones and I don't think that's a very likely match to go up against."