Is the West Papua Independence Referendum The Only Solution for Papua?

West Papua Independence Referendum

West Papua Independence Referendum

The conflict between Papua separatist and Indonesian government has been going on for more than decade now. Many has tries to settle the problem with their idea and solution. However, the results never been satisfying. Some party even suggest the West Papua independence referendum to settle the matter.

The party who suggest gubing referendum to Papua will probably think that those are the best idea for settle the conflict. However, that is not entirely true. What Papua need is some stable development that lead to change and peace. Here are the discussion about the matter.

West Papua Independence Referendum Problem

The idea of giving referendum to Papua maybe started when the appeal of Filep Karma in 2016 is revealed. Filep Karma is the former leaders of the Free Papua Organization (OPM) at that time. He believes that the government should give a referendum regarding the problem in Papua.

This notion might not be the best solution for the conflict. A written article then appear to analyze the idea of West Papua independence referendum for the people. And also to prove that those idea is not the best solution ever.

The analysis stated that the referendum might not present the opinion of majority of Papuan people. There are some citizen in those area that still willing to be part of Indonesia. Hence, the argument of giving referendum for the sake of Papuan people maybe just work for some party only.

Giving a referendum to the people of Papuan might also not the thing that they needed the most. What they needed the most is that the development of their area. Which are in terms of social economic problem. Infrastructure and development of the region should come first to make Papua become more advance in economic and technology.

The writer of the article, which is Wildan Nasution, also said that the dispute is supposedly unnecessary since Papua is proved to be part of Indonesian since long time ago.

His second opinion also stated that the dispute between Papua and Indonesia is merely the worl of the Dutch imperialist to conspire against Indonesian government.

The only referendum that the Indonesian recognize is the Act of Fre Choice that results in Papua becoming part of Indonesian territorial.

He also stated that the freedom organizations that people formed to free the Papua is not acknowledged by the government. Moreover, these organizations seems to decrease in number and followers over the time. These are the summary that the writer wrote in the article.

The Steps of Gus Dur

The talk of giving the referendum has been reappearing everytime there are conflicts from Papuan separatist and the government. This means that development alone is not enough. There should be some steps that need to be done by the authorities to stop it to happen. To do that, we should learn from the previous president of Indonesia, namely Gus Dur.

Gus Dur or Abdurrahman Wahid, in his presidential time has initiated solution that could died down the separatist movement in some area in Papua and Aceh. Instead of using violence or hard approach, he appear to reach the people through the socio-cultural matter.

Abdurrahman Wahid would took the local cultures, traditions, and belief into his consideration. He also approach some religious leader in Papua and Aceh and then held intensive talks with them. Not only that, he also approach the leaders of the tribal, ethnic and traditional figures. Gus Dur also treated the fugures of the freedom movement as citizen instead of rnemy of the state. This seems to resulted in something different than using other approach.


To stop the conflict become wider and wider, the government should do something that actually work. They need to listen to the people of Papua so the talk about giving West Papua independence referendum will not occur again. The Papuan people and the government need to work together to solve this matter and build a peace and loving region.