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Churches in West Papua Call for Military to Leave Region
Churches in Papua New Guinea are deeply concerned about the escalating violence and deteriorating security and human rights in their country. They have written to church communities in the Region and internationally to raise awareness about their situation. Their statement begins below:
Greetings from Papua,
We are writing as leaders of the Church in Papua to appeal to you for your urgent help in raising awareness about the current deteriorating security and human rights situation in our land.
The last two weeks has seen an escalation in the conflict here. It initially ignited from an incident of racial abuse directed at Papuan students who were students on the Island of Java in Central Indonesia. This incident mobilised thousands of Papuans to gather and join peaceful demonstrations in towns and cities across Papua. However, there have also been some small breakaway groups that have burnt and destroyed property in protest. The Government of Indonesia then responded with disproportionate aggression by militarising the island and allowing armed civil militia groups to be active on the streets.
Quaker Australia also wrote the National Council of Churches in Australia to call upon them to now issue a public statement and media release supporting the recommendations of the West Papuan Church Leaders.