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Acknowledging Indonesia’s Sovereignty over Papua, Results of MSG’s Decision to Reject Benny Wenda’s Efforts

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One result of the decision of the 2023 Melanesian Spearheaded Group Summit (KTT MSG) was to again reject the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) as a member of the MSG.

This decision shows that Melanesian and Pacific countries recognize Indonesia’s sovereignty over Papua and reject separatist efforts led by Benny Wenda.

International Relations Expert at Pajajaran University, Bandung, Prof. Dr. Teuku Rezasyah said that Benny Wenda’s efforts to lobby Melanesian countries had failed and Indonesia still recognized Indonesia’s sovereignty over Papua.

”The summit program is extraordinary because it places us in the South Pacific. “It’s very interesting that the hard efforts from Indonesia are not influenced by the movement of Benny Wenda who always seeks the separation of Papua from Indonesia,” he said in a national discussion organized by the Moya Institute with the theme “Benny Wenda’s efforts failed at the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Summit”, Friday ( 9/22).

Prof. Dr. Teuku Rezasyah said that Benny Wenda is a figure who is trying to gather strength to face Indonesia in its efforts to separate Papua from Indonesia.

For this reason, he suggested that Indonesia take anticipatory steps towards Benny Wenda’s movement. The government must make efforts to create peace in Papua and increase the empowerment of the Papua region.

“There are several things that the Indonesian government needs to address, including empowering education, technology, recruiting Papuans to lead their own region, building a culture of peace, taking a firm stance towards outsiders,” he said.

“Another thing is that the government must be able to develop the economy in Papua, as well as various indigenous Papuan products, by supporting good infrastructure development, because development in Papua is environmentally friendly,” he continued.

On the same occasion, Chairman of the Papua Deliberative Body, Willem Frans Ansanai, said that the Indonesian government had made efforts to make improvements in Papua, both in terms of economic development and solving social and political problems. For this reason, Benny Wenda’s efforts towards Papua will not have a specific impact.

“The efforts made by Benny Wenda and his group are indeed very disturbing in the international world for the Republic of Indonesia, but I have a strong belief that the resolution for Papua is clear, from a physical perspective, to the aspect of improving Papua, our country is very concerned and its implementation is progressing well. “I don’t see Benny Wenda’s work having an impact on Papua,” he said.

He firmly believes that Papua is still part of the Republic of Indonesia and Benny Wenda’s efforts to build the Free Papua movement will never happen.

“I am very optimistic that there will be calls from separatist groups, and I declare that Papua is part of the Republic of Indonesia, there will be rejection from the MSG countries. “My note for Papua is that apart from facing this group, we must know that Benny Wenda is a prisoner and is making efforts to build the spirit of the Free Papua movement,” he said.

Apart from that, Reform Politician, Mahfuz Sidik appreciated the Indonesian delegation at the MSG forum for taking firm and appropriate steps by walking out when Benny Wenda delivered his speech, and that attitude influenced the final decision of the MSG Summit.

“I want to appreciate my fellow delegates at the forum. “I think everyone has agreed to talk about this issue,” he said.

Observer of Strategic and Global Issues, Prof. Ambassador Imron Cotan, also said the same thing. He said that Indonesia’s achievements at the MSG Summit were very good. Most of the news on social media about Papua does not match the reality on the ground.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the Moya Institute, Hery Sucipto, emphasized that Papua is an inseparable part of the Republic of Indonesia.

“After all, Papua cannot be separated from the Republic of Indonesia, because it is the obligation and right of all of us to defend it from all undermining or attempts to separate ourselves,” he said.

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