Jayapura, Jubi – Imagine being in captivity for more 48 years when you were granted freedom by the World’s powerful Assembly.
Think about witnessing all kinds of atrocities being committed against the would-be independent state. Well you can hardly believe, but that is the situation the people of West Papua who have lived in close to 50 years after a vote that disfranchised the majority of West Papuans-just to be conducted by just 1,026 on behalf of the entire population of 800,000 at the time.
The voting on its own was the right thing to do being a culmination of United Nations Resolution 1514 adopted in 1960 amid the pressure of global anti-imperial movements and colonial territories.
The results of a vote that was viewed to be far from free or fair, gave Indonesia powers to rule over the people whom they forced to vote in colonizer’s favour.
During his visit to Uganda, Jacob Rumbiak, the Foreign Affairs representative for the Federal Republic of West Papua, narrated a disturbing tale of native West Papuans live with at the hands of Indonesian government that has gripped onto the people.
Flanked by Neddy Byrne, Rumbiak also visited Jacob Oulanyah, the deputy Speaker of Ugandan Parliament. He told the Deputy speaker about the many years of human rights abuses that stretch to killings of whoever dares to resist Indonesia’s rule.
“There is no doubt, there is genocide in West Papua similar to that genocide of Rwanda,”said Rumbiak “a minimum of 500,000 people have been killed so far. So, the atrocities that have been committed against West Papuans need to stop and it’s unfortunate, the situations are even getting worse now.”
“The West Papuan population is reducing. It was 800,000 at a point, but due to genocide, it keeps on diminishing day by day. So, the numbers of deaths speak volumes.” He added.
He said that West Papua, has got huge depositories of natural resources ranging from Oil, copper-to gold, an issues he said that is the precursor for the un-ending Indonesian’s gun rule, ignored by Western Countries-especially the US which they accused of turning a blind eye just because of some vested interests.
“We have copper, Gold mines, Oil and we are victims of a cold war just because the super power countries have got interest in our natural resources,” said Rumbiak.
According to Rumbiak’s account, Indonesians own and run most of the businesses in all major cities and thus controlling most of the money in the West Papua, leaving the indigenous people to just involve in petty jobs in their own country.
“We can’t seat back and watch people being killed one after the other. There is a time limit which is not about 2-3 years, the Papuans should be free,” vowed Rumbiak, but optimistic that one day, “West Papua will get its independence.”
Uganda supports West Papuans
On listening to the West Papuans ordeal, Jacob Oulanyah said that the Ugandan Parliament is ready to support the West Papuan cause through use of its connections with international Parliaments.
“We will do whatever our parliament and the nation can to ensure that by end of June this year, that the resolutions is heard and discussed in the UN,” said Oulanyah.
He further said that Ugandan Parliament could also identify MPs to propose the motion, support and debate it in the house. We can send the resolutions to other East African Parliaments including the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Eastern Africa countries.”
Oulanyah, however, advised the delegation to use organized youths back home so that the World bodies can get cause for supporting the cause by the natives.
Prodded on why Uganda other than other Countries, Rumbiak said that “African continent, Uganda in particular, speaks and make things move and I feel Uganda is a country whose spirit in rescuing others is alive thus our plea to have Uganda involved in this fight through supporting our petition in international forums such as African Union and UN.”
According to Rumbiak, the West Papuan population which is united internally is renewing its fight for freedom for self-determination.
The Federal Republic of West Papua “(NFRPB) is set to make its case for West Papua’s independence before ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly 33rd Session scheduled to take place at St. Julian’s, Malta between 19-21 June 2017.
*Written by Deo Walusimbi
Editor: Zely Ariane