The Guardian: The West Papuan independence movement – a history

The Guardian August 29th Marni Cordell

Indigenous Papuans still fight for self-determination, more than 40 years after Indonesia acquired the territory in a sham ballot

Indonesia officially acquired West Papua in 1969, after a sham ballot on independence in which only a handful of the local population were allowed to vote.

The region, which makes up the western part of the island of New Guinea to Australia‘s north, was once a Dutch colony, but the Netherlands began to prepare for withdrawal in the 1950s.

In 1961, West Papuans held a congress to discuss independence and raised the West Papuan “morning star” flag.

But a newly independent Republic of Indonesia began to assert its claim over the province and a conflict broke out between Indonesia, the Netherlands and the indigenous population.

In 1962, a United Nations-sponsored treaty known as the New York agreement was drawn up to put an end to this territorial battle, and Indonesia was appointed temporary administrator of West Papua from May 1963 – without West Papuan consultation or consent.

Read the full story from The Guardian

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