Geographically, West Papua and Papua New Guinea lie on the same island. The two areas are adjacent directly but belong to different countries. While Papua province and West Papua are part of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea is an independent country. Papua New Guinea got its independence on September 16, 1975, years after the independence of Indonesia. Why is the west part of the island claimed as part of Indonesia while the eastern part wants to stand alone? Here’s why Papua New Guinea doesn’t join West Papua as part of Indonesia.
Brief Information About Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is the most eastern part of New Guinea islands which lies directly next to West Papua province. Compared to Indonesia, this country is not as big as our country. Still, Papua New Guinea has become one of the most diverse countries globally, and they even own more than eight hundred local languages. Most of Papua New Guinea is an unexplored tropical forest.
Papua New Guinea got its liberty in 1975 after a battle in World War II between Japan, United States, and Australia. Now, this country is part of the British Commonwealth. As the country adjacent directly with Papua and West Papua’s province, why don’t they become part of Indonesia? Here’s why.
Why Doesn’t Papua New Guinea Join Indonesia?
Indonesia claimed all territories that were formerly colonized by the Netherlands. Before World War I broke, the Papua Island was divided into three parts; half of the territory belonged to the Dutch, while another half in the eastern part belonged to England and Germany. England colonized the south area while Germany declared for the north part.
The concept of being formerly colonized by The Dutch took a big role for the Indonesian nation. All areas colonized by the Dutch were the basis of how the country we now call Indonesia was created. That is why Papua New Guinea didn’t join West Papua as part of Indonesia because England and Germany colonized this country.
Papua New Guinea’s Independence
After World War I ended, England took over the eastern part of this island from Germany. Then, England gave mandatory to Australia to take over the administration of this territory, which later we know as Papua New Guinea. In 1960 when the United Nations removed the regulations concerning colonialism, Papua New Guinea finally became independent and part of a sovereign country globally.
When arranging their independence, this country got many back-ups from Australia. Therefore, once it claimed its liberty, Papua New Guinea took an oath to Queen Elizabeth II and be part of the British Commonwealth along with Australia.
Bilateral Relations Between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea
The relationship between the two countries has been built since 1973. Papua New Guinea consistently supports Indonesia by strictly forbidding the operation of Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM) or the Independence of Papua Organization in their areas. In a regional forum like Pacific Island Forums Melanesian Spearhead Group, the government of Papua New Guinea always rejects the agenda to discuss OPM.
Indonesia and Papua New Guinea grow better relationship as government officials and non-government parties visiting each other frequently. The visits create development in several fields such as economy, politics, socio-cultural, education, and defense.
After reading this article, now you know why Papua New Guinea doesn’t join West Papua as part of Indonesia. Even though West Papua and Papua New Guinea don’t belong to the same country, they share many similarities, such as tribe and natural resources. Both West Papua and Papua New Guinea also have rich and fascinating flora and fauna.