The forgotten 50 year insurgency in West Papua

Called the province of Papua Barat by Indonesia, who annexed the region from the Dutch in 1963 as a part of the New York Agreement that got Holland out of their East Indies colony for good, many locals in West Papua would rather just see their independence as a free state. Over the past 50 years, there have been a variety of efforts both by domestic groups and idealistic would-be freedom fighters from abroad to pry West Papua away from Jakarta, all with little success.

Today, a contentious highway project has reignited a smoldering conflict, reports Australian media, and clashes between Free Papuan groups and Indonesian security forces are mounting, while an internet blackout and media dead zone keep the war under wraps.

“We will kill, we will fight,” says Sebby Sambom, a Papua New Guinea-based spokesman for the armed independence movement. “We will continue to fight — no compromise.”

West Papuan separatists armed with a variety of weapons including M3 Grease Guns possibly left behind from the Dutch Indies War of the 1940s, an Italian BM59, an FN  Minimi light machine gun (with the jam-a-matic magazine installed) and several Pindad rifles, a clone of the FN FNC. The Minimi and Pindad are surely former Indonesian military weapons under new management. 

More here.

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