West Papua independence forces unite

Rebel groups seeking independence for¬†Indonesia’s West Papua region have announced formation of a new¬†united army under a single command. Three major factions have come together as¬†the West Papua Army, under the political leadership of the¬†United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).¬†¬†The three tendencies agreed to unite in a “Vanimo Border Declaration” issued in May, the ULMWP’s UK-exiled leader¬†Benny Wenda announced July 5, appealing for international support. “We welcome any assistance in helping us achieve our liberation,” he said in a statement. “The ULMWP is ready to form an independent West Papua. Politically and militarily we are united now. The international community can now see without a doubt that we are ready to take over our country.¬†Indonesia cannot stigmatize us as separatists or criminals any more, we are a legitimate unified military and political state-in-waiting.” The new force unites the West Papua Liberation Army,¬†the West Papuan National Army and the West Papua Revolutionary Army. (Al Jazeera, Radio New Zealand)

Photo via Radio New Zealand