Solomons MP calls on MSG to accept West Papua

A Solomon Islands MP is calling on the Melanesian Spearhead Group to ignore Indonesia and accept the membership bid of the people of West Papua.

The MP for West Makira says he is disappointed in his own country’s lack of conviction on the issue despite what he describes as overwhelming support from the Solomon Islands public for West Papua.

Derrick Manuari says the precedent for dealing with the situation has been set in the case of the Kanaks in New Caledonia who were given membership rights over France because they represented the Melanesian people of the French territory.

“It is not a sovereignty issue – it is a solidarity issue, of solidarity of Melanesian states, Melanesian territories in Melanesia. So the precedent is already set. That West Papua as a Melanesian state should be admitted as a member of MSG and not Indonesia. It’s not Melanesia.”

Mr Manuari says he is urging MSG leaders when they meet on the 24th of this month to listen to the outcry from citizens in their own countries and to remember the reason the group was originally founded.

Last month, Fiji’s prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, said the best thing to do was to make Indonesia an associate MSG member, adding it made no sense to bring in Papua separately.

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