Benny Wenda’s plea to back new West Papuan ‘liberation front’ for freedom

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A new West Papuan political movement
A new West Papuan political movement . . . declaration of the strategy. Image: ULMWP

The president of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) has welcomed the launch of a new political front, urging support for this new initiative on the “roadmap to liberation”.

Benny Wenda said the launch of the West Papua People’s Liberation Front (GR-PWP) was a  new popular movement formed to execute the national agenda of the ULMWP.

He reaffirmed the three-fold strategy as:

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  • A visit to West Papua by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights;
  • ULMWP Full membership for ULMWP of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG); and
  • An internationally-supervised self-determination referendum.

“Our roadmap is clear — we will not stray in this or that direction, but remain totally focused on our end goal of independence,” Wenda said in a statement.

“By pursuing this threefold agenda, we are rebuilding the sovereignty that was stolen from us in 1962. The ULMWP roadmap is West Papua’s path to liberation.”

Wenda said that all West Papuan organisations or affiliated groups were welcome to participate in the GR-PWP, including political activists, student groups, religious organisations, Indonesian solidarity groups, the Alliance of Papuan Students, and KNPB.

‘National agenda for self-determination’
“The Liberation Front is not factional but will carry out the national agenda for self-determination. It will deepen the ULMWP’s presence on the ground, supporting the cabinet, constitution, governing structure and Green State Vision we have already put in place,” Wenda said.

“The GR-PWP has been endorsed by the Congress, the highest body of the ULMWP according to our constitution.”

Wenda said GR-PWP would have a decentralised structure, being spread across all seven customary regions of West Papua.

The capital of Jayapura would not dictate decisions to the coasts or islands — all regions would have an equal voice in the movement.

“Unity is essential to our success. Our liberation movement will only succeed when West Papuans from all regions, from all tribal groups and political factions,” Wenda said.

“The agenda belongs to all West Papuans.”

A massive crowd at the launch of the new West Papuan "liberation front"
A massive crowd at the launch of the new West Papuan “liberation front”. Image: ULMWP
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