Indonesia accuses Vanuatu of 'inexcusable' support for West Papua
Indonesia Indonesia accuses Vanuatu of 'inexcusable' support for West Papua
Indonesia says Vanuatuâs support for West Papuan self-determination âcluelessâ
Indonesia has accused Vanuatu of challenging âfriendly relationsâ between the two countries and supporting separatist movements, after it offered support to West Papua at the United Na tions.
Vanuatu has long been a supporter of the rights of West Papuans in their movement for independence from Indonesia.
On Monday Indonesia used its second right of reply at the 73rd UN general assembly to mount an excoriating attack on Vanuatu over its support for West Papuan self-determination, calling it âcluelessâ.
âAlthough being disguised with flowery human rights concern, Vanuatuâs sole intention and action are directly challenging the internationally agreed principles of friendly relations between states, sovereignty and territorial integrity,â said the Indonesian representative, Aloysius Selwas Taborat.Indonesia releases 42 people arrested at West Papua university Read more
Taborat said Vanuatu repeatedly supported separatist movements and he questioned its behaviour as âan internationally law abidingâ nation.
âThis inexcusable support to separatist individuals is clearly shown by the inclusion by Vanuatu of a number of persons with serious criminal records and a separatist agenda in their delegation to the UN.â
Taborat said the people of Papua had âonce and for all reaffirmed Papua is an irrevocable part of Indonesiaâ and that it was âfinal, irreversible and permanentâ, referring to the 1969 UN resolution that noted the so-called Act of Free Choice.
Many West Papuans consider the move an illegal annexation by Indonesia and a separatist insurgency has run for decades.
The controversial referendum, which saw 1,026 hand-picked individuals vote to remain with Indonesia, is repeatedly dismissed as not being either representative or a free vote.
Vanuatuâs prime minister, Charlot Salwai, who has long supported West Papuan self-determination â" had last week called for the Human Rights Council to investigate human rights abuses in the region â" claims Indonesia denies.
West Papuan activists are routinely arrested and jailed, and there are fre quent allegations against Indonesian forces of violence, extrajudicial killings, torture and mistreatment of protesters. Verified information is difficult to obtain as Indonesia does not allow the free movement of press in the region.
Last week the Tuvalu prime minister, Enele Sopoaga, also gave support to West Papuans at the 73rd general assembly, calling for recognition of West Papuans and engagement âto find lasting solutions to their strugglesâ.Indonesian forces detain dozens at West Papua university Read more
Hilda Heine, the president of the Marshall Islands, said the recent Pacific Islands Forum had given support for the âconstructive engagementâ by forum countries with Indonesia on elections and human rights in West Papua.
âDecolonisation and human rights are both important issues in the Pacific islands region,â she said.
Indonesiaâs vice-president, Muhammad Jusuf Kalla, did not name Vanuatu in his first response but labelled it an âact of hostilityâ that had âno place in the UN systemâ and was a violation of UN principles.
âIndonesia will not let any country undermine its territorial integrity,â he said. âLike any other sovereign country, Indonesia will firmly defend its territorial integrity.â
Last September a banned petition calling for a free vote, signed by 1.8m West Papuans and smuggled out of the region, was delivered to the UNâs decolonisation committee, which monitors progress towards decolonisation and independent rule.
West Papua was removed from the decolonisation committeeâs agenda in 1963.Topics
- West Papua
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