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


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.