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22 Jul 2010

A Mediating Hand to Pull Papua Back From the Edge of Disaster

by.Mangadar Situmorang

The need for an international mediator in the case of Papuan autonomy has been frequently raised, most recently two weeks ago when thousands of Papuans rallied in Jayapura to demand a referendum to determine their own fate . A number of civil society organizations support the idea of outside engagement to bring the problems in Papua to a peaceful and sustainable end. The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) has even suggested that Jakarta “put aside paranoia of foreign parties and no longer use nationalist sentiment as pretext.”

Just whether international mediation is likely or not in the Papuan cause depends on the government, Papuans and the international community.

Regarding the government, LIPI might be correct in assuming that some factions in Jakarta are fearful of international intervention.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with the view that the Papuan cause is a domestic affair. But after four decades without an effective solution, the claim that Papua’s integration into Indonesia is final, legal and irrevocable lacks credibility.

From the Papuan side, the call for the UN or a neutral country to act as a mediator needs to answer the question: Just who is it calling for a third party? SOURCE

Is it the Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP), the Papuan Presidium Council (DPP), the National Committee for West Papua (KNPB) or regional legislatures (DPRPs)?

A representative group will be one united with other Papuans, integrated within cohesive organizations and led by a strong and legitimate leadership.

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