Daily Archives: December 9, 2016

West Papuan Liberation Movement lobbies at the UN

RadioNZ – United Liberation Movement for West Papua leaders have been in New York this week, lobbying at the United Nations about their self-determination struggle in Indonesia.

United Nations, New York.

United Liberation Movement for West Papua leaders have been lobbying at the United Nations in New York. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The Liberation Movement’s secretary-general Octo Mote and spokesman Benny Wenda said they have been meeting with officials from several UN departments and various embassies.

They have been talking about their hopes for a new internationally-supervised self-determination vote for the indigenous people of Indonesia’s Papua region.

Mr Wenda said the lobbying gives them an opportunity to correct misinformation spread internationally about Papua by Jakarta and people within the UN system appreciate the discussions.

“We’re also updating the current situation (on the ground in Papua) and this is like… that West Papua has been neglected for the last fifty years, so they’re surprised that this has been going on. So there’s a number of diplomats we met in New York.”

Mr Wenda said that taking the matter to the UN is part of the new phase of their struggle.

He said the combined issues of human rights abuses in West Papua, and Papuans’ self-determination struggle, are considered an issue for the whole Pacific islands region, and that Pacific countries are increasingly supportive.

Jakarta said Papua‘s incorporation into Indonesia is final and that human rights abuses in the region are being addressed.

It also said it is devoting significant resources into creating better conditions for economic development at grassroots levels in West Papuan communities.

However, despite Jakarta’s sensitivity to it, there have been various diplomatic gains made this year in advancing West Papua as an issue for the UN to address.

This includes the call by the International Parliamentarians for West Papua for an independence referendum in Papua, and the rise of the Pacific Coalition for West Papua.

It is still unclear if the melanesian Spearhead Group will accept the Liberation Movement’s bid to be a full member in the group – a decision could be made before Christmas, according to the MSG secretariat.

However Mr Wenda said Papuans were greatly encouraged by the unprecedented call by seven Pacific states at the UN General Assembly in September for the world community to take action about alleged historical and current injustices in Papua.

West Papuan Liberation Movement lobbies at the UN was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

Kenya backs Saharawi self-determination

Foreign Affairs and International Trade cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA

Foreign Affairs and International Trade cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA

Kenya has expressed support for the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic’s (SADR) self-determination as part of the campaign by Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed for the chairperson of the African Union Commission.

Speaking when she made a historic visit to the Western Sahara country, Ms Mohamed said that Kenya supports the SADR quest for full self-determination and its membership to the African Union (AU).

“Kenya fought for its self-determination and supports the people of Saharawi whose land is still occupied. The suffering the people of this country have undergone should come to an end,” she said.

Morocco considers Saharawi as part of its territory.

Ms Mohamed met and held discussions with SADR Prime Minister Abdelkader Taleb.

She also presented a special message from President Uhuru Kenyatta, on her nomination for the AU Commission seat and requested for support.

Drum up support

The development could go against the rapport Kenya recently struck with Morocco that saw President Kenyatta travel to Rabat to drum up support for Ms Mohammed.

Morocco—that is seeking a comeback to AU since withdrawing from the continental body in 1981—has been lobbying for the expulsion of the SADR from AU before it is reinstated.

It is going to be one of the major issues to be discussed at the sidelines of the January 2017 AU heads of state summit in Addis Ababa.

Morocco withdraw from the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1981 because of the admission of SADR, which it believes it part of its territory.

Most of the citizens of SADR live in camps administered by Algeria and UNHCR.

Kenya backs Saharawi self-determination was originally published on PAPUAPost.com