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Fiji PM and Benny Wenda Meeting Regrettable, Says Indonesian Foreign Affairs

3 March 2023 12:10 WIB

Benny Wenda, leader of the Papuan independence struggle, attended the UN General Assembly in New York, USA. TEMPO / Raimundos Oki

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - An official diplomatic note from the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry to the Fiji government ensued after a meeting took place between Prime Minister Stivini Rebuka and the United Liberation Movement of West Papua leader Benny Wenda.  

Foreign Affairs spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah on March 2, confirmed that the diplomatic note expressed Indonesia’s discomfort over the meeting. 

“In general, the note expressed Indonesia’s deep disappointment over the meeting between the Fiji PM and a figure who arbitrarily claims to represent the entire Papuan population in Indonesia,” said Faizasyah. 

Fiji Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Prime Minister’s office have yet to publicly respond to the official letter. 

Wenda and Rebuka met on the sidelines of a meeting of Pacific countries in Nadi, Fiji, last week. Wenda, through his social media, said that relations between Fiji and West Papua had been renewed, following the election of Rebuka as the country's prime minister.

“The relationship between West Papua and Fiji is being renewed. An honor to meet you both and discuss the future of Melanesia and the wider Pacific,” Wenda wrote on his Twitter account who also met with Fiji deputy minister Biman Prasad. 

ULMWP has been applying for membership in the MSG (Melanesian Spearhead Group) for 10 years. However, until now it has only received observer status, the same as Timor Leste.

So far, no one has openly supported the separatist group in Indonesia. A number of Pacific countries often bring the issue of human rights violations in Papua to the United Nations. Radio Free Asia, as quoted, also said that the Fiji government had never expressed support like this before Rebuka.

DANIEL A. FAJRI

Editor's Choice: Clash between Military-Police and Papuan People Kills 9

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