Papua and West Papua are Indonesia's poorest regions, continuously facing economic and political struggles. (JG Photo/Donny Andhika Mononimbar)

Papuan Insurgents Declare Support for Indonesian Government

BY :ALIN ALMANAR

JULY 05, 2017

Jakarta. Hundreds of members and sympathizers of the Free Papua Organization, or OPM, have declared support for the Indonesian government — a long-awaited move after decades of insurgency and human rights abuses.

A gathering at the OPM headquarters in Puncak Jaya, Papua, on Saturday (01/07) saw a representative of the group's National Liberation Army, Yusko Kogoya, reading out the declaration.

"The OPM members and sympathizers showed up with full awareness and pledged loyalty to Indonesia," said a report confirmed on Wednesday by Maj. Gen. Andre, a deputy for domestic politics at the Coordinating Ministry for Politics, Law and Security.

Andre was not immediately available for further comment.

The OPM waged an insurgency in 1969, when a United Nations-backed referendum made Papua become a part of Indonesia. According to the organization, the referendum was rigged and the central government has since been giving the resource-rich province an unfair share of the state's wealth.

The grievances have triggered reciprocal violence and human rights abuses.

Although the government seeks to ease the tensions with a range of infrastructure projects to boost the economy of the province, in recent years Indonesian authorities have been repressing calls for Papuan independence.

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