Armed rebel groups in Indonesia’s West Papua have reportedly united to form a new army under a single command.
A release from the office of the chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Benny Wenda, says it’s the first time the three major factions have come under a single arm.
Under the This ‘Vanimo Border Declaration’, the Liberation Movement is taking political leadership of the new grouping, formed today and dubbed the West Papua Army.
Mr Wenda says they are ready to take over Papua and are calling for international and domestic support.
“We welcome any assistance in helping us achieve our liberation. Indonesia cannot stigmatise us as separatists or criminals any more, we are a legitimate unified military and political state-in-waiting,”
he said in a statement.
The new force includes the West Papua Liberation Army, which is fighting a bloody war with state forces in Nduga regency.
Also joining the united front are the West Papuan National Army and the West Papua Revolutionary Army.