Written by: Anonymous Watcher
West Papua is one of those communities’ that very few ever hear about in the news. Located in the Ocean, and considered to be a province of Indonesia, it covers the western peninsula of New Guinea.
Historically it has been a Strategic important since its vital role in World War II for the South-West Pacific region, providing a major landmass north of Australia. The Kokoda Track campaign is one of the more renowned battles between the Japanese and Australians.
Set against the historical context; the indigenous population provided a support to the Australian soldier and government, providing a vital allied comradeship, that arguably without, would have perhaps led to a horrifically different outcome during the South Pacific War (WWII).
It is in this light that the widespread violence and intimidation now spreading across the state against the West Papua residents seems to be at no end in sight. For now, the Indonesian military and State are employing acts of State oppression, in so far as to ban foreign journalists from reporting the nation’s current political situation.
The indigenous peoples of the West Papua region, said to stand at a population of 750000 (most likely far more with undocumented numbers), claim that people “disappear”, in an act by the Indonesian military to quell dissent. Rape, torture and the policy of forced Java resettlement camps also represses those during this crisis, to speak out against the State Oppression.
One such case of the brutal torture against the indigenous community is the cruelty against a 23 year old man, Blasius Sumaghai, from the southern region of Papua. Sumaghai’s case displays the widespread violence in the area is not contained specifically to the West.
Sumaghai was brutally beaten by two members of the Indonesian Marine Corps in January 2014. Son of a well known figure from the Awyu Tribe, Sumaghai was left unable to walk for four days following the attack. Blasius Sumaghai was sitting in front of his stall when the members of the Marine Corps approached him and began their assault. Following their attack with their rifle butts into his chest and back, they forced him to their military post where the attack continued.
Since 1963, when Indonesia took over the rule of West Papua from the Dutch colonial administration, it is reported that several hundred thousand West Papuans have died. But unfortunately, the situation is far worse than it appears. West Papua with the rest of the island of New Guinea, form the last great rainforest after the Amazon. Its residents have endured the militias, illegal mining and logging, intimidation, and what can only be described as a form of genocide against the West Papuan people.
Against the odds, they endure their fight for their identities and freedom; poorly armed against the Indonesian military. But for everything they withstand today, and for everything they did for the strategic alliances of Australia and the USA…where are their great western friends now?
MBD (24 July 2014) “Indigenous Indonesian People Are Standing Up Against the Government.”
http://politicalblindspot.com/indigenous-indonesian-people-are-standing-up-against-the-government/ Political Blind Spot. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
Mukanisi (17 February 2014) “And so the Inhumane Cruelty of Indonesian Armed Forces Against Papuans Continues.”
(12 February 2008) “West Papua: The Forgotten Story of a People in Crisis.”