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Free Papua Movement (OPM)

The Free Papua Movement (OPM) is the general independence movement for the territory of West Papua (also referred to as West New Guinea). Currently, the territory belongs constitutionally to Indonesia. The separatist movement contains an armed unit (without a specific leading commander), a protest and demonstration unit, as well as a small group of designated leaders abroad which aim to raise awareness on the movement.

Since the creation of the movement in 1963, the OPM has attempted diplomatic dialogue with both Indonesia and the international community, has conducted countless nationalistic ceremonies (which have provoked the Indonesian government), and have even conducted paramilitary operations during the Papua Conflict. The West Papua territory was assigned to Indonesian administration by the New York Agreement in 1963. However, West Papua already had its own anthem, rituals, and coat of arms since 1961. Indonesia is the only country in the world who recognises the OPM as a terrorist organisation.

In August 2019, the OPM conducted mass protests in Indonesia and these led to 43 students being arrested. In response, Indonesia reinforced its military rule in West Papua by sending armed troops. In 2022, the spokesmen and representatives of the OPM have expressed their direct support for Russia during its invasion of Ukraine and have even claimed that Russian support for Ukrainian separatist movements (such as in Donetsk or Luhansk) is justified.

NOTE: This article will be updated soon.


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