Statement from Benny Wenda on Indonesian military attacks in Nduga, West Papua.

To the President of Indonesia, the Commander of the TNI, and Chief of Indonesian Police; On behalf of the people of West Papua, and as Chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, we firmly reject the military actions taken by the government of Indonesia in the Kenyam District of Nduga, West Papua.

Bombing, burning houses, and shooting into villages from helicopters are acts of terrorism. The Indonesian government’s horrific acts of violence against the Melanesian people of West Papua are causing great harm and trauma. The people of West Papua continue to live in fear of Indonesian military violence. We should not have to live in fear for our safety in our own ancestral land. For over 55 years the Indonesian security forces have had free-reign and complete impunity to commit these kinds of human rights abuses against us. Attacks like this have happened in Nduga and Mapenduma before. Violations like this have occurred across the whole of West Papua, and the Indonesian government is fully responsible for these attacks and for the destruction of our people’s lives.

Indonesia is a Member of the United Nations Security Council. Under the Charter of the United Nations, it is the Security Council and its members responsibility to “determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression” and to maintain peace and security. Yet look at what you are doing in West Papua? They are shooting in to villages with women and children. Human rights abuses and acts of aggression are increasing. The ULMWP ask the UN review Indonesia’s membership of the UN Security Council.

The existence of the Indonesian military in West Papua is illegal and is not justified under International law. West Papua is not legally part of the republic of Indonesia and has never legally been part of the republic of Indonesia.

As the leader of the West Papuan people and Chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua I ask the President of Indonesia, the TNI Commander and the Indonesian Military Commander to put an immediate stop to all attacks, and to withdraw the Indonesian military from Nduga, and from our land, West Papua.

We, the people of West Papua call for a referendum on independence. The people of West Papua have a right, under international law, to a legal act of self-determination and to choose our own destiny. To live without fear in our own lands. These basic human rights continue to be brutally denied by Indonesia.

To the global community, we, the people of West Papua, call on you to assist us in making these on-going attacks, abuses, and the destruction of our people and lands come to an end.

To the people of Nduga, and my West Papua family, I am with you. We are with you. Your pain and suffering will not go unnoticed, your cries will not go unheard. We are praying for you and your families to return home as soon as possible. One day soon, we will live in a free and independent West Papua.

Benny Wenda,

Chair, ULMWP