Wamena, Jubi – According to the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), the fact that there is a ratification process of West Papua’s constitution, the formation of the ULMWP interim government, and the establishment of a number of interim government offices in various countries, has made Indonesia’s presence in Papua illegitimate.
Such a statement was conveyed by the interim president of the ULMWP, Benny Wenda, through the head of the ULMWP office in West Papua, Markus Haluk, in a release received by Jubi on January 12, 2021.
“I would like to wish a happy new year to all supporters and sympathizers of West Papua around the world, diplomatic friends in Vanuatu, OACPS countries, PIF, and others. During our fight for justice and independence, your help has given us strength in continuing our struggle,” Haluk said.
At the beginning of 2022, his party officially announced several main offices and branches of the ULMWP both in West Papua and foreign countries. “ULMWP interim government offices around the world. The head office is based in West Papua, and the international office is located in Port Vila,” he said, adding that his party was also opening representatives of the Port Moresby and the Office for the Coordination of Diplomacy in the UK and Europe.
“This is the next step in the long journey of reclaiming the sovereignty stolen from us by Indonesia in 1963,” Haluk continued. He said, the formation of West Papua’s constitution in 2020, followed by the formation of the interim government, the cabinet, and the launch of the Green State Vision, made “all Indonesian laws in West Papua automatically come to an end”.
“Thus, Indonesia’s presence becomes completely illegitimate and excessive,” he said.
Haluk said there were no longer differences or divisions in the interim government. All fighting parties in Papua, be it the military wing of West Papua, the National Coalition for the Liberation of West Papua (KNPB), or the National Parliament of West Papua have all become constituents in the ULMWP.
“They are all integral part of the interim government. Therefore, each party should respect our constitution, whether you are in West Papua or part of an international solidarity network,” he said.
He hopes that the world believes in him and the constitution of the interim government. “We want peace for all in our region and internationally, and to organize our lives democratically,” he said. To all NGOs, churches, religious leaders, and every West Papuan including those in exile, the ULMWP urges to unite and pray for the interim government.
The interim government of ULMWP made six demands: (1) Hold a ballot for self-determination for West Papua, (2) Allow international supervision for the referendum, (3) Allow the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights to visit West Papua in accordance with the demands of 84 UN member states, (4) Withdraw all troops from West Papua, including 21,000 additional troops deployed since December 2018, and end the illegal war carried out by the Indonesian military, (5) Release all political prisoners, including Victor Yeimo and ‘Abepura Eight’, (6) Allow access to journalists and international human rights organizations to monitor West Papua and visit internally displaced people in Nduga, Puncak, Intan Jaya, Oksibil, Maybrat, and others.
Markus Haluk said the peaceful struggle in West Papua for self-determination would never stop. “We will peacefully demand our rights and dignity. The Papuan people must hold the ‘knife of justice’ and stand up for their rights,” he told Jubi. (*)
Reporter: Benny Mawel
Editor: Syam Terrajana