The Struggle to Make Papua a Land of Peace
August 7, 2011
Last week, Papuans demonstrated in the provincial capital demanding independence from Indonesia which coincided with a conference at Oxford University that questioned the legality of Indonesian rule in West Papua. Attracting significant media attention to the riots, more than 20 people have been killed in two separate incidents.
The Papuan Peace Network is a movement campaigning for dialogue to resolve the unresolved tensions in Papua. As a step towards ending the violence, the organization held a conference in Jayapura called “Let us make Papua a land of peace” with a goal of showing the “strength of Papuan identity and the demand for independence.” The presence of government officials at the conference may suggest a more open mind in Jakarta, bringing with it the hope that a true dialogue may follow.