05 Mei 2013

MSG talks on West Papua

By, Tevita Vuibau

MSG member countries including Fiji will make a formal decision on the way forward in dealing with the situation in West Papua when they meet at the MSG leaders summit in June.

This was the word from the MSG Eminent Persons Group headed by former Fiji Minister for Foreign Affairs Kaliopate Tavola.

West Papua has been occupied by Indonesia for the past 50 years.
Human rights abuses and countless crimes by members of their armed forces attracted regional and international scorn.

The territory has also been pursuing full membership of the MSG and has received widespread support.

Mr Tavola said the MSG EPG had listened to the views expressed on the issue and noted that there was a lot of support for the West Papua case.

"We do also note that the West Papua case is problematic. There are a number of issues attached to it, for instance there is an application which I understand has been lodged with the chair of the MSG," Mr Tavola said.

"That will take its own process and the leaders will make a determination on that when they meet in June."

He explained that the issue of West Papua was complex and the EPG was taking note of new developments.

"We as a group take note of what is happening on the ground. The application has been lodged and it is likely that the leaders will make a determination in June that will determine the way forward on how we manage the West Papua case."

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