Title

Merdeka in West Papua: Peace, Justice and Political Independence

RIS ID

130173

Publication Details

Webb-Gannon, C. (2014). Merdeka in West Papua: Peace, Justice and Political Independence. Anthropologica, 56 (2), 353-367.

Abstract

The vision for "Papua merdeka," or a "peaceful, just and necessarily politically independent Papua" is perhaps the most powerful force of unity among West Papua's indigenous peoples. This article explores the origins of this supra-uniting vision and provides examples of how merdeka is envisaged by West Papuans as the best outcome of their struggle for peace with justice. It critiques the contested meanings of the term but demonstrates that there is considerable unity among West Papuan leaders regarding its components, and in the belief that merdeka cannot prevail in Papua without political independence from Indonesia.

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