WELLINGTON (NEW ZEALAND) - The New Zealand Green Party says New Zealand should be facilitating peace talks in Indonesia’s Papua region rather than sending police advisors.
The New Zealand foreign minister, Murray McCully, announced last week that New Zealand would resume a community policing programme in eastern Indonesia, including Papua and West Papua.
It would involve New Zealand police providing training, mentoring and encouraging community engagement.
There was a pilot project in the region in 2009 and 2010 but Green MP, Catherine Delahunty, says that that aid did not change the reality in the region where police violence directed at the indigenous population remains commonplace.
“Sending community policemen over, no matter how well intentioned they are is not going to work because so many West Papuan citizens have witnessed police violence and killings of family members by the police force and they have seen the state refuse to act to deal with those issues, so we really don’t think that New Zealand is playing the rightful role of creating a better situation - not at all.” [RNZI]