Genocide in West Papua, Fact or Fantasy?

 The government of Indonesia never attempts genocide on West Papuan. The growth of indigenous population in West Papua attest it.

“…In West Papua, we continue to endure the horrors of colonialism and genocide with over half a million West Papuan people estimated to have been killed ever since West Papua was occupied by Indonesia in 1963…”

That is a bit of a clip from an article written by Benny Wenda to garner international support. Genocide would be an interesting story for an international campaign, apart from whether it is a fact or fantasy. Human rights issues including genocide always managed to become a highlight and create an international society apprehensions and sympathies like Palestine, Rohingya, and other cases. However, the international society’s concern regarding the human rights issue has often been manipulated by Benny Wenda for his own interest. The propagation of the fictive story was made without a factual data about the situation in Papua.

Genocide defined as an act committed with the intention to destroy a whole or a part of a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group. According to The 1948 International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, every action addressed to eradicate a specific group of people can be categorized as a genocide.

So, what is actually happened in West Papua? Is genocide really happening in West Papua?

Source: Treated from Central Statistics Body

If we refer to the definition of genocide above, what should happen is a mass extermination leads to the decline of indigenous population in West Papua. However, according to the Central Statistic Body (BPS), the residents of West Papua have been increasing from year to year. The BPS Census in 2010 reveals that a total of West Papua resident is 2.833.381 people, consists of 2.121.436 indigenous West Papuan and the rest of them are migrant.  In 1971 the total of West Papuan was only 701.983; in 1980 increased to 890.382; in 1990 become 1.263.199 people, and in 2000 reached 1.684.144 in population.

According to the data, there is no evidence of Indonesia’s effort to genocide the West Papuan. In West Papua, the indigenous population is higher than the migrant, which makes genocide is an impossible presumption.

Keyword: West Papua, Indonesia, genocide, West Papua residents, Benny Wenda

By: Zuraida, S. (Researcher, MaCDIS)

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