This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
WEST PAPUAN independence leader Benny Wenda issued an urgent warning to the world today, fearing an imminent slaughter by Indonesian forces.
He said that hundreds of soldiers had mobilised in the area, the biggest operation in decades, and that the internet had been cut off as villagers fleed — an ominous sign that atrocities were to be committed.
“This looks like it will be the biggest military operation in West Papua since the late 1970s,” Mr Wenda said. “The Jala Mangkara Detachment (Denjaka) — elite troops of the Indonesian navy — are being deployed.
“I myself witnessed the consequences of these military operations when I was a child, seeing my village bombed and my family killed. I had to flee and live in the bush for six years. It makes my heart cry that this is about to happen to so many more of my people.”
Mr Wenda was elected interim president of a provisional West Papuan government in December last year and has reiterated his desire to sit down with Indonesian President Joko Widodo for peace talks.
But the Indonesian leader has ignored Mr Wenda’s offer and last week ordered a crackdown in West Papua after the killing of intelligence chief Brigadier General I Gusti Putu Danny Karya Nugraha, before branding the resistance movement terrorists.
Mr Wenda rejects the label and says that the West Papuan army are defending their land against an illegal occupier and have little knowledge of the outside world.
“They are fighting barefoot to defend their people against a modern military. A few hundred of them face an army of over 20,000 troops, including D88, trained to kill my people for years by the West,” he said.
Mr Wenda said that 500,000 had been killed since the 1969 annexation of West Papua by Indonesia through the Act of Free Choice, when just over 1,000 were handpicked and voted at gunpoint to ratify the occupation.
“We are seeing a genocide in motion,” the interim president said as he issued an appeal to world bodies including the United Nations to prevent the impending massacre.
“This is my cry to the world, to the UN, to the Pacific Islands Forum, to Melanesian leaders, to the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States, and to the UK, Australian, New Zealand, Dutch and US governments.
“We are about to witness another massacre in West Papua. You have the power to intervene and help us find a peaceful solution to the crisis,” he said.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.