West Papua Freedom And Indonesia: 4 Historical Moments To Remember

West Papua Freedom And Indonesia: 4 Historical Moments To Remember

Indonesia and western Papua has a very long history that goes as far as the pre-colonial era. However, during those besieged times and condition both part has kept the same mindset. It is which is to shoo colonialism and gain freedom. The West Papua itself has a huge bond with Indonesia, which is mostly stated in these four historical moments compiled by westpapuadiary.

The Netherland New Guinea Or Nugini Belanda

Just like Indonesia, New Guinea and the surrounding area were under Netherland or dutch colonization. The dutch has been in the high reign after taking over Sultan of Tidores’ sovereignty in 1660. However, in 1793 Britain also settled on Manokwari and attempted to colonialize it.

The attempt was failed. But the conflict between the western colonials is still raging. Thus, in 1824 both sides share half of Papua in their shoes. The western part of the new guinea become part of the Dutch East Indies. During that time, much opposition appears since one colonialization upon another kept on coming.

Germany was also attempted to settle on the region. Due to the constant push and conflict, Dutch also reach up to Fak Fak and Manokwari to avert Australia’s claim of the area. During this time, westpapuadiary also highlights that the dutch activities take to the pre-war era. At that time, west Papua and some other Papua areas were part of Netherland new guinea.

Indonesia Independence And Dutch Conflict

As Indonesia declare independence after the Japanese surrender in 1945, the eastern part of Indonesia was still under the Dutch government. It includes Western Papua that suffered due to the harsh colonialization from the Netherlands. Despite the situation and the Indonesian independence, Netherland did not want to liberate Papua.

The government also makes more effort to win the local’s hearts and support by supplying better development in Irian. But, nationalists and the Indonesian government want to liberate Papua and include new guinea as part of Indonesia republicans. The conflict between Indonesia and the dutch was mostly on the diplomatic and armed struggle for more than four years.

Indonesia Irian independence party (PKII) was founded in 1946 under Silar Papare’s lead. It was that time the political party fighting the dutch government. Westpapuadiary finally found a great light as in December 1949, Netherland recognized Indonesian sovereignty. In 1949 the round table conference (KMB) was made.

But again, it was a lack of clarity. Netherland put an exception on the Indonesian sovereignty of the Dutch New Guinea. Taking different races and ethnicity as excuses, Netherland wants west Papua to stand as an individual country. Both sides do not want to lose, which later take the problem to the UN or the united nations.

Irian Liberation Supreme Operation By Soekarno 

History | West Papua Update

During the conference in the UN, Netherlands foreign minister proposes to put west Papuan under the UN’s government. However, the council rejects the option. That kind of proposition later inflict a bigger conflict that ended with Indonesian’s Soekarno created Supreme operation command to liberate irian (in 1961) or known as the operation Mandala.

The operation was led by Suharto and commenced the liberation army in 1962. Westpapuadiary also found many attempts made by the Indonesian government to reach and liberate Papua. However, most of them are failed due to the guerilla war was harder in Papua geographic.

The good news is that the 1962 operation mandala was never eventuated since the New York agreement was made. The deal on August 15th, 1962, conclude that Netherland will give Papua to UNTEA or United Nations Temporary Executive Authority. It was an organization under the UN secretary-general to fix the conflict between Indonesia and Dutch.

That decision and agreement was part of the huge Indonesian and west Papua history since it decide the region’s liberation. The UNTEA agreement states that the territory administration of Papua will be handed down to Indonesia after May 1st, 1963. However, until that time, the locals have the right to choose on joining Indonesia or be independent.


Under the supervision of the UN, Indonesia’s de jure power of Papua was started. As of 1 May 1963, Papua was completely handed down to Indonesia. However, the West Papua government position is pretty vague. It was also stated that in September 1963, west Iran was known as the quarantined territory as it transfer the government to Indonesia.

Westpapuadiary highlights the PEPERA or the act of free choice movement in 1969 to solidify the region’s status. It was under the United Nations’ supervision that lead to a clear statement of where the Papua belong. It was a time in which West Papuan men and women had the right to choose independence or integration. And the result shows unanimously for integration and the region named as west irian.

As one of the eastern parts of Indonesia, many people do not pay a lot of attention to Papua. However, the region has been part of Indonesia and has been fighting colonialism alongside Indonesia. The liberation of western Papua was part of the combined effort from the central government and local irian, which turn into a sweet moment for both sides.