17 Jan 2014

MSG leaders confronted with protests over West Papua

3:55 pm on 17 January 2014

It has been reported that a group of Papuan students held up a delegation from the Melanesian Spearhead Group as it went to meet the President of Indonesia this week.

Vanuatu decided to boycott the foreign ministers delegation because the itinerary did not include any meetings with groups concerned about alleged human rights abuses in West Papua.

Video footage shows Papuan students blocking a convoy as MSG leaders tried to leave a hotel in Jakarta on Wednesday to meet the president.

The protesters eventually backed off and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono received the delegation.

In a joint statement Indonesia and the MSG say they support respective sovereignty and the principle of non-interference in each other's internal affairs.