West Papua Independence Group slams French 'modern colonialism’

Asia Pacific Report

A West Papuan independence group, Kanaki has condemned French „modern colonialism in action” in New Caledonia and urged indigenous leaders to „fight back”.

Pro-Kanak independence leadership, United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) leader in exile Benny Venda said the proposed electoral changes being debated in the French parliament would „dangerously damage the Kanaki right to self-determination”.

He said that the ULMWP is closely monitoring the events and sends its deepest sympathy and support to the Kanak struggle.

“Never give up. Never give up. Fight till you get freedom,” he said.

„However long the journey may be, one day our flags will be raised together on liberated Melanesian soil, and the people of West Papua and Kanaki will celebrate their independence together.”

Speaking on behalf of the people of West Papua, Venda said his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives since the current crisis began. Seven people have been killed so far, four of them Kanaks.

„This crisis is an episode in a long struggle for aggression and self-determination that goes back hundreds of years,” Venda said in a statement.

’We stand with you’
„You are not alone – the people of West Papua, Melanesia and the wider Pacific stand with you.”

“I have always maintained that the Kanak struggle is the West Papon struggle and the West Papon struggle is the Kanak struggle.

„Our bond is special because we share an experience that most colonial countries have already passed. Colonialism may have ended in Africa and the Caribbean, but it still exists in the Pacific.

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Wenda said she was proud to sign an autograph Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with FLNKS. [Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front] In 2022.

“We are a Melanesian family and I hope that all Melanesian leaders will give their unequivocal support to the ongoing struggle of the FLNKS against France.

„I hope our brothers and sisters across the Pacific – including Micronesia and Polynesia – will stand up for Kanaki in their time of need and show solidarity.

“The world is watching. Will the Pacific speak with one voice against modern colonialism imposed on its neighbours?”

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