Papuan separatist leader becomes RI citizen

Papuan separatist leader becomes RI citizen


16 May 2010

A leader of the Free Papua movement, Nicolas Jouwe, has become an Indonesian citizen after living in exile in the Netherlands for 50 years.

He received his certificate of citizenship from Minister of Law and Human Rights Patrialis Akbar in Papua's provincial capital Jayapura on Saturday.

“Nicolas Jouwe has come home and received his citizenship from the minister in the presence of Coordinating Public Welfare Minister Agung Laksono,” the ministry's spokesman Martua Batubara said.

“Jouwe appealed to all Papuan exiles to follow in his footsteps because Papua is internationally recognized as an integral part of Indonesia”.

Jouwe reportedly first discussed his intentions to return home with Indonesian Ambassador to the Netherlands JE Habibie late last year.

The Free Papua Movement has been waging low-level armed secessionist movement since the UN recognized the territory as part of Indonesia in 1963.