Indonesia’s 1969 Takeover of West Papua Not by “Free Choice”

Telebe News

Indonesia’s 1969 Takeover of West Papua Not by “Free Choice”

Document Release Marks 35th Anniversary
of Controversial Vote and Annexation

Secret Files Show U.S. Support for Indonesia,
Human Rights Abuses by Indonesian Military

Edited by Brad Simpson
simpbrad@isu.edu / 208-282-3870

Washington, D.C. – July 8, 2004 – “You should tell [Suharto] that we understand the problems they face in West Irian,” national security adviser Henry Kissinger wrote President Nixon on the eve of Nixon’s July 1969 visit to Indonesia. On the 35th anniversary of West Papua’s so-called “Act of Free Choice” and Indonesia’s first direct presidential elections, the National Security Archive posted recently declassified documents on U.S. policy deliberations leading to Indonesia’s controversial 1969 annexation of the territory. The documents detail United States support for Indonesia’s heavy-handed takeover of West Papua despite overwhelming Papuan opposition and United Nations requirements for genuine self-determination.

Background

When Indonesia gained its independence from the…

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