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Vanuatu’s new Jakarta link defies public’s West Papua support

Vanuatu’s opposition foreign affairs spokesman says the government’s move to forge closer ties with Indonesia goes against the wishes of the overwhelming majority of ni-Vanuatu.
Joe Natuman’s comment comes after the arrival of an Indonesian military aircraft in Port Vila sparked a protest which resulted in 20 people being arrested and charged with unlawful assembly.
Under a recently signed co-operation agreement, Indonesia is to provide police training to Vanuatu which protestors say is unacceptable to ni-Vanuatu given their strong support for West Papuan self-determination.
Mr Natuman says the agreement restricts Vanuatu from getting involved in the West Papua issue.
“That means, from now, we have no right to discuss issues of West Papuan freedom. No, it will not go down well. This is just done by politicians, particularly the Prime Minister and his party.”

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