Home » West Papua Struggle for Independence: Key Players and Challenges

West Papua Struggle for Independence: Key Players and Challenges

by Senaman
0 comment

The issue of West Papua has often been a sensitive issue in Indonesian history. West Papua’s independence began with the decision of the Round Table Conference on December 24, 1949.

At that time, West Papua became independent from the Netherlands and join with Indonesia.

West Papua’s Struggle and Challenges for Independence

In moving towards independence, of course, there are several challenges and obstacles that West Papua faces.

These various obstacles are woven into a story and history. Here’s a little story of the struggle of West Papua to gain independence:

1. There is a KMB Time Bomb

For a long time, the issue of West Papua has been a sensitive issue for Indonesia.

On December 27, 1949, the Round Table Conference (KMB) resulted in the transfer of sovereignty to Indonesia from the Netherlands.

However, the KMB also left unresolved issues, namely regarding the status of Papua or West Irian.

This problem is a ticking time bomb for Indonesia in the future. Indonesia and the Netherlands both insist they have more rights over the land of West Papua.

For the Dutch, western Papua, or what they usually call Dutch Papua New Guinea, is not part of the territorial integrity of Indonesia.

According to the Dutch, indigenous Papuans have racial differences and ethnic compared to Indonesian society in general.

Therefore, the Netherlands wants to make western Papua a country under its auspices. So, the Netherlands doesn’t want to lose West Papua.

2. Dutch Colonial Section

Before foreign colonization, every tribe that had inhabited Papua since more than 50,000 years ago was led by tribal chiefs or tribal leaders.

In some areas, each chief is democratically elected. Meanwhile, in several other areas, tribal chiefs are appointed from generation to generation.

Until now, several regions in Indonesia still have traditional governance arrangements. For example, an ondofolo still has certain powers in the Sentani and Ondoafi areas.

The people have a different history from Indonesia in resisting Dutch and Japanese colonialism, like the Koreri movement in Biak and its surroundings.

The duration of Dutch colonialism in Indonesia is not the same as the Dutch colonization in West Papua.

Indonesia was colonize by the Dutch for about 350 years and ended when the Dutch recognized Indonesian independence on December 27, 1949.

West Papua, politically speaking, was colonize by the Dutch for 64 years.

3. West Papua Joins the Republic of Indonesia

In the history of the operation for the liberation of West Irian in 1971,

Nugroho Notosusanto stated that President Sukarno formed the Mandala Command to seize Papua on January 2, 1962, through Presidential Decree No. 1 of 1962.

Major General Suharto was appoint commander of this military operation.

This situation put pressure on the Netherlands and forced them to agree to negotiate again with Indonesia.

As a result, on August 15, 1962, the New York Agreement was agree, which state that the Netherlands would hand over its control over Papua to the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority or UNTEA.

The New York Agreement required Indonesia to conduct a Popular Consultation or Pepera. The people of West Papua will decide whether they want to be part of Indonesia.

Pepera memiliki batas waktu pelaksanaan penerapan pada akhir tahun 1969, diikuti PBB sebagai pengawasnya.

The story of West Papua’s struggles and obstacles will add to your knowledge. Studying history is fun to get use to knowing the origins of a nation.

Don’t forget to keep reading history and lore books!



You may also like

Leave a Comment