Arrests in Vanuatu amid anti-Indonesian protest

A West Papuan living in exile in Vanuatu has been arrested along with about two dozen others for protesting against the arrival of an Indonesian military aircraft in Port Vila today.

Andy Ayamiseba, who is also a Vanuatu citizen, says he believes he may have been arrested for protesting without a valid permit.

But he says the arrival of the aircraft, carrying about 100 computers for next month’s African Carribean and Pacific meeting in Port Vila as well as military equipment, is unacceptable to Vanuatu’s people given their strong support for West Papuan self-determination.

Under a recently signed co-operation agreement, Indonesia is to provide police and paramilitary training to Vanuatu which in turn is to refrain from getting involved in the West Papua issue.

Mr Ayamiseba says the arrangement is outrageous

“If there is any such force to train Vanuatu police, Indonesia should be the last on the list. These people, they’re committing atrocities on other Melanesian people. So the excuse of kicking the AFP out was to have the Indonesian military and police to come in here.”

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