Briefing: Illegal arms sales, internal displacement and a ‘new approach’ in West Papua

27 May 2022

This briefing looks at reports of illegal sales of weaponry by the security forces, continuing internal displacement and the military's claimed new approach. It looks especially at the reasons behind these developments, and the lack of coherent action on the part of the Government. An underlying reason for arms dealing is pervasive militarism in West Papua, where security force operations are leading to violence and causing the displacement of civilians. Arms dealing has been taking place as the security forces try to control the narrative on its role in West Papua, first justifying theterrorism classification of TPNPB by declaring that it is protecting civilians, then later stating that it is implementing a ‘new approach’ in West Papua, which looks a lot like the old approach. As this has been happening, the number of internally displaced people has increased and displaced people are receiving little recorded state assistance.

Read the full briefing.