6 Jun 2013

West Papua pro-independence group plans rally to mark MSG

1:54 pm on 6 June 2013

The West Papua National Committee, or KNPB, says it will hold peaceful demonstrations on June 18th in the Indonesian province to mark the first time West Papua will attend the Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting.

The MSG hosts, New Caledonia's pro-independent FLNKS Movement, has officially invited West Papua to attend the summit in Noumea.

The general coordinator of the KNPB event, Assa Asso, says there will be simultaneous demonstrations in Manokwari, Sorong, Yahukimo, Wamena and other towns in the Indonesian province.

Many previous demonstrations and protests have been met with force by Indonesian troops, who accuse the protesters of being violent separatists.

On May 1st, three demonstrators were killed in a peaceful protest to mark 50 years since Indonesia took control of the province.

Two weeks later, the chairman of the KNPB Victor Yeimo was arrested by police at a separate rally and remains detained.