Exiled leader Benny Wenda presents smuggled petition to decolonisation committee but chair says Indonesian takeover of province is not on its agenda

The UN’s decolonisation committee will not accept a petition signed by 1.8 million West Papuans calling for independence, saying West Papua’s cause is outside the committee’s mandate.

In New York on Tuesday, the exiled West Papuan leader Benny Wenda presented the petition – banned by the Indonesian government, but smuggled across Papua and reportedly endorsed by 70% of the contested province’s population – to the UN’s decolonisation committee, known as the C24 and responsible for monitoring the progress of former colonies towards independence.

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