Benny Wenda calls for global attention to genocide and ecocide in West Papua

By Pita Ligaiula -June 11, 202461 0

The President of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Benny Wenda has made a blunt assessment of the dire situation in West Papua.

“For years, we’ve been telling the world that West Papuans are suffering from genocide and ecocide,” he said in a statement.

“Over 500,000 of our people have been killed since Indonesia’s occupation began in the 1960s. Meanwhile, millions of acres of our ancestral lands have been devastated for profit.”

Wenda described the growing awareness among Indonesians, sparked by the viral #AllEyesonPapua hashtag.

“Indonesians are finally waking up to the crimes their government is committing in West Papua. For decades, Indonesia has hidden West Papua from the world through media blackouts, torture, and a ban on journalism. They’ve turned our country into the Pacific’s North Korea.”

Technology and social media are breaking down these barriers.

“Indonesian NGOs, solidarity groups, and ordinary citizens are discovering the truth about the Palm Oil plantations, mines, and energy estates that are destroying our environment. The struggle of the Awyu people against the massive Tanah Merah project has captured hearts. Their land, hunting grounds, and livelihoods are at risk. Our forest is our supermarket and medicine cabinet; without it, we cannot survive.”

Wenda emphasised the connection between environmental damage and genocide.

“The environmental destruction we see cannot exist without genocide, ethnic cleansing, and racism. Indonesia clears our forests and displaces our people to open access to our land for big corporations. To stop the destruction, we must manage our own affairs, as we did for thousands of years before colonialism. ‘Papua Merdeka’ is the answer to #AllEyesonPapua.”

He highlighted the ULMWP’s vision for the future.

“We offer the world our Green State Vision for a liberated West Papua. This vision, drawing on Indigenous Papuan knowledge, aims to combat the climate emergency and restore balance to our land after 60 years of deforestation. Support our independence, and we will help fight climate change by protecting the world’s third-largest rainforest.”

Since launching the Green State Vision at COP26, the destruction has only increased.

“We’ve seen more mining concessions, more bio-ethanol oil estates, and more plantations on stolen Papuan land.”

Wenda also called for Pacific nations to resist Indonesian influence.

“The Pacific will suffer most from climate change. Rising sea levels and increasing cyclones threaten whole countries. Pacific leaders must resist Indonesia’s cheque-book diplomacy and support West Papua in taking real action on climate change. Indonesia offers aid with one hand while profiting from the destruction of our forests with the other.”

“We call on international media to keep All Eyes on Papua. Don’t look away as Indonesia destroys our land,” he said.

source: PINA News Fiji

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