British activist: We condemn the recruitment of underage children in the Free Papua Movement - Berita Papua


Sabtu, 14 Desember 2019

British activist: We condemn the recruitment of underage children in the Free Papua Movement

British activist: We condemn the recruitment of underage children in the Free Papua Movement

British activists condemn the use of underage soldiers in Eastern Indonesia. They staged a protest against the use of underage soldiers and the support of the Oxford City Council against The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).

According to them, children were forcibly recruited, but there was also the possibility that they would join the military and armed groups because of cultural pressure.

"We condemn the use of underage soldiers in the Free Papua Movement," said one activist in a video circulating on social media.

They claimed to be very angry knowing the British government especially the Mayor and the Oxford City Council who supported such actions.

The real evidence is Jacob Rombiak, the ULMWP spokesman who stated that they train children in military operations, and this is the fact that the West Papua Army (WPA) uses underage soldiers.

Isn't this a war crime? International law defines, "Recruiting or enrolling children under the age of 15 years and using it to actively participate in hostilities is a war crime." Rome Statute of 1998.

Nearly 170 countries including Indonesia have ratified the UN agreement which obliges the government to stop military recruitment under 18 years and end the military exploitation of children by State and non-State armed groups.

However, the Oxford City Council did not find out about the whereabouts of these underage soldiers and instead gave support to Benny Wenda who deliberately exploited children. This is what angered British activists.

"Children should be free, allowed to go to school, carry out daily activities, get education, not be part of this terrorist organization," said another activist.

Because previously, the decision of the Oxford City Council gave the Freedom of the City award to Papuan separatist Benny Wenda who was then severely criticized by the Republic of Indonesia. The award was judged given by Oxford based on a wrong assessment of Benny Wenda.

Reported by the BBC on Thursday (7/18/2019), the award was given by the Oxford City Council to Benny on Wednesday (17/9) local time. Oxford Mayor Craig Simmons said the award was "worth giving" and Benny Wenda "contributed so much both locally and on the international stage".

The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia (KBRI) London, stated that, the Oxford City Council again hurt the feelings of the Indonesian people. The award to the person was a continuation of the Council's support for the Free Papua Movement after granting permission to open the Free West Papua Campaign office in Oxford in 2013.

The Indonesian Embassy said the Indonesian government strongly condemned the award to Benny Wenda given by Oxford. The awarding of Benny reduced Oxford's credibility as the world's leading education center. Indonesia sees Oxford as judging Benny wrongly.

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