Benny Wenda

‘You know that you are not alone’

This statement by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua chairman, Benny Wenda, follows the announcement by MSG chair and PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill that West Papua’s request for full membership has now been progressed to the Secretariat.

“West Papua is entitled to join the Melanesian family,” Wenda tells this newsroom in an exclusive interview.

“For 50 years we have been separated from our brothers and sisters across Melanesia.

“This is a sign of reunion with our family.”

West Papua sees progress

Leader Benny Wenda expressed this after the status of West Papua’s request was announced yesterday.

Chair of the MSG and PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, when announcing the adoption of agendas by the MSG Leaders as an outcome of their meeting, mentioned that West Papua’s request for full membership has now been progressed to the Secretariat for processing.

Leader of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Benny Wenda, expressed he was satisfied with the outcome.

West Papuan petition is no hoax: Leader

West Papuan Independence Leader and spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Benny Wenda, was responding to Indonesia's UN representative, Triansyah Djani, who called his petition a hoax and separatist propaganda.

Last week Wenda delivered a petition signed by the majority of West Papuans to the United Nations, calling on the UN to act over human rights abuses in West Papua and to carry out its 1962 commitment to ensure West Papuans have the opportunity freely to exercise their right to self-determination.

ULMWP accepts MSG decision and calls for greater support of West Papua

ULMWP spokesperson, Benny Wenda, said this could be seen as a delay tactic but ULMWP acknowledges the technical issues highlighted by the leaders and senior officials of the MSG.

The MSG special leaders’ summit on July 14, in the Solomon Islands, had agreed to defer the consideration of the application for full membership by ULMWP until membership criteria and guidelines are further developed.

West Papua activist testing PNG PM's invitation

Peter O'Neill has spoken of the need to speak out about human rights abuses in neighbouring Indonesian territory, and last week told a radio talkback programme that West Papuans are welcome in PNG.

But Benny Wenda, who lives in exile in Britain, has been denied entry into PNG twice in the last year.

Mr Wenda, who is the spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, said he was trying to apply for a visa to enter PNG to attend an upcoming Melanesian Spearhead Group summit.

Jakarta has something to hide, says Wenda

This follows claims by the Melanesian Speahead Group chairman, Manasseh Sogavare, that Jakarta has failed to respond to requests by the MSG and the Pacific Islands Forum for dialogue about the situation in Papua.

Indonesian officials said Jakarta was keeping Pacific governments informed.

But the Liberation Movement's spokesman, Benny Wenda, is concerned that some Pacific governments are being misled by Jakarta.

He said extensive ground reports from Papua indicated ongoing rampant human rights abuses.