Over the last few days we have been receiving disturbing reports of developments inside West Papua.

Our people have been taking to the streets to show their rejection of Indonesia’s plan to divide us further by the creation of 7 provinces and to demonstrate against the imposition of ‘special autonomy’.

Peaceful protestors in Nabire and Jayapura have been met with increasingly brutality, with water cannons and tear gas used against them and fully armed police firing indiscriminately at protesters and civilians alike.

This is state terrorism. Indonesia is trying to use their full military might to impose their will onto West Papuans, to force acceptance of ‘special autonomy’.

The pattern of increased militarisation and state repression over the last few years has been clear, with an alarming escalation in violence. Less than 2 weeks ago 2 protestors were shot dead in Yahukimo Regency, again for peacefully demonstrating against the expansion of provinces.

History is repeating itself and we are witnessing a second Act of No Choice. West Papuans are being forced to relive this trauma on a daily basis. The same methods of oppression were used in 1969, with thousands of troops harassing, intimidating and killing any West Papuans who spoke out for independence.

But the West Papuan people have demonstrated their will, time and time again, in rejecting special autonomy and in resisting Indonesian rule.

We continue to speak in one clear and unified voice in calling for self determination and independence from our colonial oppressors. This spirit cannot be crushed and we will not be silenced, even in the face of Indonesia’s full military power.

To the international community looking on, funding for special autonomy has been used to arm the Indonesian military to kill West Papuans. Stop your trade negotiations with Indonesia and listen to the voices of indigenous West Papuans, who are screaming for their rights to be heard and respected.

Benny Wenda
Interim President
ULMWP Provisional Government