‘We won’t drop our support for West Papua,’ pledges Vanuatu’s PM

West Papua supporters
Vanuatu West Papua support group chairman Pastor Alan Nafuki (fourth from left) and members pose with Prime Minister Bob Loughman at the entrance to the office. Image: Vanuatu Daily Post

By Len Garae in Port Vila

Vanuatu Prime Minister Bob Loughman has rejected a claim that he had been invited by the Indonesian government to visit West Papua.

In a courtesy call and meeting with the prime minister to check on the claim, Loughman Vanuatu West Papua Unification and Association Committee (VWPUAC) chair Pastor Alan Nafuki that he was neither aware of nor had he received any invitation from the Indonesian government.

Prime Minister Loughman reaffirmed an earlier statement he had made to Pastor Nafuki saying that his government’s position was “crystal clear” about support for West Papuan independence.

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It had been the same since the statement of the “Father of Independence”, the late Father Walter Lini, who had said in 1980 Vanuatu would not be completely free until the Pacific’s remaining colonised peoples of West Papua, Kanaky and Tahiti were free.

Prime Minister Loughman did not mince his words when he declared that nobody could change his country’s stand on West Papua.

All former Vanuatu governments and his current government had a mandate to “speak up for the voiceless” to help them towards achieving their God given right to self-determination and freedom.

The VWPUAC chair’s group had sought verification from the Prime Minister after Pastor Nafuki had been approached by two ni-Vanuatu individuals who claimed that he had been invited by Jakarta and his name was on the list of invitees.

“I asked one of them to show me the invitation with my name on it and he turned and left,” Pastor Nafuki said.

Vanuatu stands up strongly and speaks up for the freedom of the people of West Papua.

It has passed a Wantok Bill in Parliament in support of the freedom of the people of West Papua.

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