Subject: Obama administration called on to push for human
rights improvement in Papua
Radio New Zealand International
The Voice of New Zealand, Broadcasting to the Pacific
Te Reo Irirangi O Aotearoa, O Te Moana-Nui-A-Kiwa
Obama administration called on to push for human
rights improvement in Papua
Posted at 03:35 on 08
December, 2008 UTC
The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network, ETAN, has urged the
incoming Obama administration in the US to put more pressure on
Indonesia to address human rights violations in Papua region.
ETAN’s John Miller says that the US could help encourage Indonesia’s
security forces to improve their conduct in Papua by threatening to
restrict military assistance again.
Mr Miller says that since the US began incrementally to reinstate
military assistance to Indonesia in 2002, the process of reform has
stalled within the army which still enjoys widespread impunity in
Papua for crimes against humanity.
He hopes that the new US Democratic administration will engage with
Indonesia differently to how the Republicans did.
- “That’s not clear yet. it will probably take a lot of public
pressure and, I think, a realisation that this strategy of
engagement hasn’t really worked and the Bush administration
always said they were for human rights accountability, they
wanted to see military reform. They claimed they shared the same
goals as we did but we very much disagree and have disagreed
with the pentagon all along about the way to do that.”
Obama administration called to recognise
opportunity to advance human rights in Indonesia
Posted at 07:27 on 08 December, 2008 UTC
An Australian academic says that by applying pressure on Jakarta the
incoming Obama administration in the United States could help affect
improvements to the situation in Indonesia’s Papua region.
The convener of the West Papua Project at the Centre for Peace and
Conflict Studies at Sydney University, Jim Elmsie says the new US
administration is a critical opportunity to improve the worsening
situation in Papua.
This follows a call by the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network
for President Obama to restrict US military assistance to Jakarta
again unless human rights violations in the Papua region by the
Indonesian military are curbed.
But Jim Elmsie says it wouldn’t require threats over withdrawing
assistance to encourage more civilian control over the military in
- “But I think even without any overt threats, they could just
simply say that the way that the situation is progressing in
West Papua is incompatible. I think just by applying pressure
they could easily change the whole situation in West Papua.”
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