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Papua: Violence

Volume 497: debated on Thursday 22 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his most recent assessment is of the upsurge of violence in West Papua; and if he will make a statement. (292334)

There has been an increase in sporadic violent incidents in the Indonesian province of Papua over the last six months. There was an initial upsurge around the time of the April 2009 parliamentary elections, primarily in Puncak Jaya and Jayawijaya districts and Nabire and Abepura towns. There have been further incidents over the last three months in Mimika district in which an Australian national and a number of Indonesian police officers were killed. According to our embassy contacts, the Indonesian policing response to these incidents is generally considered to have been measured.

We recognise that real challenges remain in Papua. Our ambassador visited Papua last month and discussed these issues with the Indonesian authorities. He emphasised the need to fully and transparently investigate any allegations of human rights abuses.