BUSA JEREMIAH WENOGO
An entry in the Crocodile Prize
PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum
Award for Essays & Journalism
A recent speech by prime minister Peter O’Neill declaring Papua New Guinea’s support for freeing West Papua from Indonesia is historic as it has the potential to reshape the geo-political landscape within the region.
For many years PNG has been viewed as a strategic and important player in the struggle to attain West Papua’s aspiration for self-determination.
Yet since independence, it has adopted a friendly co-existence policy with Indonesia, subsequently recognising West Papua as an integral part of Indonesia. This approach has unfortunately ignored the untold suffering of the people of West Papua.
Yet, given regular reports of border incursion by the Indonesian Army and the constant stream of refugees fleeing across the border into PNG to seek asylum, the West Papua issue was always going to be a PNG problem whether it liked it or not.