The War Next Door

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The War Next Door

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Just north of Australia a secret war is being fought.

West Papuan independence fighters and Indonesian security forces are involved in a protracted and bloody battle over the issue of Papuan independence. The conflict escalated after young West Papuan fighters killed Indonesian road workers building a highway into Papua’s central highlands. The Indonesia government hit back hard, deploying hundreds of police and military who attacked the region in an effort to root out the rebels.

Last year mass protests broke out, with civil resistance leaders from in and outside West Papua calling for freedom from Indonesia. With foreign media largely shut out, the story of this unfolding humanitarian disaster remains untold. Hundreds have died and local officials estimate that over 40,000 people have been displaced. There are allegations of torture and human rights abuses.

Gaining access to exclusive pictures of the recent unrest and speaking to eyewitnesses of the violence, the story unveils the threat of the weaker indigenous people’s fight to prevent being wiped out.

The government’s position is that dialogue is needed but dialogue which is constructive, not dialogue on a referendum. There will be no dialogue for independence which means this is a war with no end in sight.

A Foreign Correspondent story

Credits

Foreign Correspondent
Australian Broadcasting Corporation