Violence escalates in West Papua - ULMWP Chairman calls for urgent UN visit to West Papua

West Papua is experiencing the worst wave of violence since decades after various protests against racial discrimination, which started in mid-August 2019, have resulted in security force crackdowns and outbreaks of horizontal violence. Two further outbreaks of violence have been reported in the cities of Wamena and Jayapura on 23 September 2019, resulting in at least 31 civilian fatalities, while 87 persons were injured. The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) has now called for an urgent UN visit to West Papua. ULMWP chairperson, Benny Wenda, said in an pressing statement on 24 September 2019 that "the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights must visit West Papua now, and the Pacific Islands Forum must help to secure this".

Considering the high number of fatalities since mid-August, Benny Wenda expressed concerns that the historic Santa Cruz Massacre, which took place in East Timur in 1991, might re-occur in West Papua. "This is the time for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit West Papua, in line with the Pacific Islands Forum communique released on August 16 this year. I’m calling on President Widodo to allow the UN High Commissioner in. The time for this visit is now: no more delays. The crisis is taking place as you read this", said Benny Wenda