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Papua-Indonesia
 

 Antagonists

Papuans

Indonesians

Status

Low level

Connections

SoutheastAsiaWars

Indonesia

PNG

West Papua

Explanation

The Indonesian island of Java is very overcrowded with a rapidly increasing population. The Indonesian government sees its territory of West New Guinea (West Irian) as empty land to settle Javans. But the people there share a culture with Papua New Guinea which has the eastern half of the island.

The original inhabitants speak languages with nothing in common with modern Indonesian.

The Dutch tried to prevent the transfer but it was added to Indonesia in 1969 by the UN Decolonisation Committee, after a referendum, much criticised nowadays for its unrepresentative nature.

There is a Papuan resistance at a rather low level. There seems to be no international interest in this dispute, though the circumstance in which West New Guinea was transferred to Indonesia, on the grounds that both were once colonies of the Dutch, is dubious and the inhabitants were not asked, except in a referendum now considered flawed and unrepresentative by many parties. It would have made sense to unite the island with the state of Papua New Guinea.

Last revised 25/10/06


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