West Papua Report, August 2010

West Papua Report, August 2010

WPAT / ETAN, August 2010

 

 

Summary

 

Fifty members of the U.S. Congress, under the leadership of House Foreign Affairs sub-committee chairs Faleomavaega and Payne, have written to President Obama to express their deep concern about West Papua, noting indications of Indonesian "slow-motion genocide" against Papuans. The Representatives strongly urged President Obama to give West Papua a high priority in U.S. policy towards Indonesia and also called on him to meet with Papuans in his scheduled November visit to Indonesia. The Obama Administration has announced it will open contact with the infamous Indonesian Special Forces (Kopassus), notwithstanding a decade old Congressional consensus against ties with that group unless and until that unit undergoes fundamental reforms. Papuan Political Prisoner Filep Karma told international media that U.S. support for Kopassus would only increase that units capacity to repress Papuans. An International Court of Justice opinion granting Kosovo the right to declare its independence would appear to have implications for Papuans pursuit of self-determination. Indonesian analysts assess that Indonesian central government unwillingness to dialogue with Papuans inevitably leads Jakarta to resort to its repressive "security approach." Reports of abuse of Papuan prisoners in Indonesian prisons by their Indonesian guards continue. The Indonesian Seafarers Association has revealed Navy and Fisheries Ministry collusion with foreign fishing vessels illegally fishing in Papuan waters. The report also notes the role of foreign fishermen in the transmission of HIV/AIDS in Papuan ports of call.