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West Papua

Archaeological Map

Wikimedia Commons

Country Overview

Targeted Groups
Alert Status
Genocide Stage(s)
  • West Papuans

  • Indonesian Military

  • Indonesian Government

Stage 3: Discrimination, Stage 4: Dehumanization, Stage 9: Extermination, Stage 10: Denial


In 1963, Indonesia invaded West Papua, the western half of the island of New Guinea. Both countries were once colonized by the Netherlands. The United States brokered a deal with the Dutch and the UN to hand over West Papua to Indonesia. This deal was made due to Cold War politics and absent consultation with West Papuans. In 1969, Indonesia and the UN oversaw the rigged Act of Free Choice “referendum” in which 1000 selected “representatives” voted to formalize Indonesian rule. The “representatives” were threatened with death if they opposed annexation by Indonesia. West Papuans call the “referendum” the “Act of No Choice.”

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Inside Indonesia's Secret War for West Papua

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UN Experts Call Out ‘Shocking Abuses’ in Indonesia’s Papua Region

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West Papua Conflict: From Genocide to Ecocide

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