WEST PAPUA AND POVERTY.

Countries have done little to stop Indonesia’s decades-long war against the people of West Papua, which also exploits the region’s rich natural resources. Multinational companies finance Indonesian forces in the region.

Since the first days of Indonesian occupation, the people and land of West Papua have been under relentless attack. In an attempt to control the Papuans, and to claim the land to make way for resource extraction, the Indonesian army has systematically murdered, raped and tortured people in numbers that would constitute a genocide.

Indonesia has also carried out a social engineering project on a massive scale in West Papua by relocating hundreds of thousands of people from across Indonesia to live in camps cut into the forests of West Papua. This program of transmigration has long been heavily criticised and has brought problems for both the indigenous population and trans-migrants alike.

One of the worst examples of this is the displacement and killing of thousands of people to make way for the giant American owned Freeport mine, the largest gold mine in the world, which has reduced a sacred mountain to a crater and poisoned the local river system.

Indonesia guards West Papua aggressively not allowing journalists, diplomats or human rights workers into the country. The massive US owned Freeport McMoran gold and copper mine in West Papua is one of the Indonesia’s largest taxpayers. The US, UK, China, Japan, Indonesia, South Africa and Australian have mining interests operating in West Papua.

The Indonesian Military along with global corrupt governments, and associated transnational companies, are supporting the oppression of the West Papuan people to ensure they maintain control of West Papua’s rich natural resources.

The world’s longest‐running military occupation and genocide has killed more than 500,000 people, and is destroying the world’s second‐largest rainforest and 50,000 years of civilisation. Why haven’t more people heard of West Papua?

In 2016 alone eight thousand people ‐ including many children ‐ were arrested just for taking part in independence demonstrations or for raising the West Papuan flag. There are frequent reports of kidnapping and torture by the military and police. Journalists and community leaders are routinely detained and tortured simply for speaking out.

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