Thousands of Papua New Guineans marched through Port Moresby in support of West Papuan freedom today.
This follows weeks of protests by West Papuans, as well as unrest, in the neighbouring Indonesian-ruled territory.
Two prominent PNG MPs led today’s large demonstration of Melanesian solidarity in the PNG capital – the national capital governor, Powes Parkop, and Oro province’s governor, Gary Juffa.
Those marching condemned recent cases of racism towards West Papuans in Indonesian cities which sparked the wave of mobilisations across the border.
They were also calling for West Papua to be given an independence referendum.
It’s estimated that over two thousand people took part in today’s rally in Moresby.
At least 10 people have been killed and dozens arrested amid an Indonesian security forces crackdown in the two Papuan provinces.
The PNG prime minister James Marape has condemned the violence, saying “no human beings deserve to be killed, especially on their own land,” in a televised press conference.
Mr Marape has reiterated PNG government support for Indonesian sovereignty in West Papua.
But his government supports calls for the office of the UN Human Rights Commissioner to have access to the remote territory, which Indonesia applies tight restrictions on.