U.S. CONGRESS TO INVESTIGATE WEST PAPUA

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Papuan independence movement encouraged

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 17, 2009) – The West Papua National Coalition for Liberation says it’s encouraged by legislation passed by the US House of Representatives calling for two reports regarding West Papua to be submitted to Congress by the US State Department.

One would be a report on the political status of the Papua region. It would look at the UN-sanctioned 1969 Act of Free Choice, under which West Papua was incorporated into Indonesia and examine the extent to which Jakarta has implemented Special Autonomy in Papua.

The second report is to describe the extent of human rights abuses in Papua.

The Coalition’s secretary general, Rex Rumakiek says it’s a sign of progress towards more dialogue about West Papua.

"I’m encouraged by it even though it might not end up the way we really want it. but US involvement is very important because we all understand that Indonesia has always relied on any advice from the US system on how to deal with security issues in this region," Said Rumakiek.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

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