“Let me assure the world that I can see the light at the end of the dark tunnel, that now the whole world knows more about West Papua than ever before so this is sure confidence for me which reflects the faith of the population of Vanuatu.
“Indonesia can say whatever it wants to say but I am confident to say that West Papua is getting closer and closer and closer to its destiny for our Great God to give them their birthright and He is choosing us one by one to proclaim it to the world”.
This is the first interview with the President of the Civil Society Organisations, Presbyterian Church Pastor Allan Nafuki, that support the longstanding struggle for freedom of the Melanesian people of West Papua.
“My first message is that Vanuatu’s support for West Papua has not changed; chiefs, grandparents, fathers, mothers, young people and children’s support have not changed. Our mandate is to help West Papua to achieve self-determination and freedom”, he says.
“It is the mandate of our Government to continue to lobby with other friendly countries to support the struggle of the people of West Papua to gain their freedom.
“This is to secure enough support by other countries to help us to put the demand of West Papua before the Committee of 24.
“We have so far 70 countries round the world that has aligned with Vanuatu to support our stand towards West Papua, and we need 30 more.
“In the Pacific we have small countries including Tuvalu, Micronesia and Tonga even though our brothers of Fiji, PNG do not support us and Solomons are 50-50 and so we have seven or eight countries in the Pacific that support our stand plus some Caribbean and African countries”.
Asked if the 70 countries are members of the UN, Pastor Nafuki says these are the countries that recognise and support the West Papua Issue.
“We are lobbying for 30 more to arrive at the required 100 countries in order to push the West Papua issue to another level.
“We thank God for our people including MPs Johnny Koanapo and Ralph Regenvanu and civil society organization of which I am Chairman.
“With only 30 more countries to join the list, I am confident of a light at the end of the tunnel that by 2019, we will have enough numbers to push West Papua through the Committee of 24”, he says.
“The Vanuatu Government is also committed to making sure that 100 countries will be supporting West Papua in the not too distant future”.
Lobbying is now in progress with the 24 member countries of the Committee to support the West Papua Issue.
“When Vanuatu raised the West Papua Issue at the UN, thousands of West Papuans marched in support of what Vanuatu was doing”, he said.
An emergency meeting was held at the West Papua House at four o’clock yesterday afternoon in Port Vila for Vanuatu Free West Papua Association to be briefed on the latest situation on West Papua.
Asked to comment on the Indonesian representative’s address at the UN, the Chairman said there was nothing new in it – only the same repetition since day one except Indonesia’s tightening of its security in the bush.
However in the same way the West Papua Liberation Army has also tightened its security dividing the men and women and children into groups to move quickly.
“For security reasons, only Indonesia’s side releases information while West Papua remains silent but we and United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) know what is happening in West Papua”, he says.
Our appeal to West Papuans is to remain vigilant to make sure that different factions within West Papua must always stand united to make sure that individual factions do not break the solidarity of the people of West Papua. “Let us all stand together to go forward in unity to achieve the goal through our prayers for God to continue to bless the people of West Papua. This is our faith and hope in Vanuatu for the people of West Papua”, he concludes.