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A journey towards democracy in West Papua

A journey towards democracy in West Papua.

Since 1963, when West Papua was returned to Indonesia, the region has mostly been under continuous threat from Free West Papua armed criminal group. West Papua Blog still see a silver lining.

According to West Papuan prominent leader, Vice Admiral  (Retd.) Freddy Numbery:

In the Round Table Conference Charter (KMB) of 1949, the Kingdom of the Netherlands recognised the independence and sovereignty of Indonesia, but the residency of Nieuw Guinea (Papua) according to Article 2 of the KMB still remained under Dutch rule on the grounds that the Papuan residency had different socio-cultural and geographical characteristics from Indonesia, so given the status quo and will be discussed one year later.

Throughout the 1950s, President Soekarno urged the United Nations (UN) to asked the Netherlands to hand over Papua to Indonesia, but to no avail. On December 5, 1957, Bung Karno took hard action by expelling all Dutch citizens from Indonesia and nationalizing Dutch companies. (Justus M. Van Der Kroef, 1958: p.1).

With pressure also put on by the US government, the Dutch finally handed Papua over to the United Nations through the New York Agreement, August 15, 1962. On May 1, 1963, the United Nations through the UNTEA (United Nations Temporary Executive Authority) handed over Papua Ab initio (according to the beginning / from the beginning) to its legal owner namely the Dutch East Indies (Nederlands-Indië) which was freed as the Republic of Indonesia on 17 August 1945.

Through the Act of Free Choice (Self Determination of People’s Opinion) in 1969 represented by 1,026 people, Papua was confirmed as part of the Unitary Republic of Indonesia and then ratified on November 19, 1969 in the UN General Assembly through resolution No. 2504 (XXIV). At that time 80 countries supported (including the Netherlands) and 30 countries did not vote (abstained), and 12 countries did not attend.

57 year after the returned of West Papua into Indonesia, the region has achieved significant milestones in democracy. West Papua and Papua have conducted successful elections to elect governors and regents.

In Papua’s democracy, legitimacy and local election are overshadowed by security threats from Free Papua movement. Papua is fertile to separatist movements led by the Free West Papua armed criminal group and Papuan Independent Movement (OPM). There are demands made by these separatist movements mainly opting for referendum or independence. One of the most effective way to develop Papua and West Papua is by implementing the Special Autonomy Law in 2001.

A journey towards democracy in West Papua.

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This Blog has gone through many obstacles and attacks from violent Free West Papua separatist supporters and ultra nationalist Indonesian since 2007. However, it has remained throughout a time devouring thoughts of how to bring peace to Papua and West Papua provinces of Indonesia.

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