On Behalf of the ULMWP and the West Papuan people I offer my condolences to the family of Governor Lukas Enembe. Today we remember Enembe and his legacy, as a powerful Governor who fought for West Papuan interests against the Indonesian colonial system that has been imposed on us for the last 50 years.

Earlier this year, Indonesia wrongly imprisoned Governor Enembe, without sufficient evidence and on clearly political grounds. Enembe’s imprisonment was because he advocated for his people – by opposing the colonial ‘Special Autonomy law’, opposing the divide-and-rule tactic of creating three new provinces in West Papua, and condemning the humanitarian crisis Indonesian militarisation has inflicted on West Papuans.

Governor Lukas’ treatment is not new to us. Before him, many Governors and other West Papuan leaders have either been falsely imprisoned, poisoned, or even murdered by the Indonesian state. At least sixteen leaders have died in mysterious circumstances since 2020, many of them alone in hospital.

Thank you to Governor Lukas Enembe for everything you did for West Papua, for protecting West Papuans and the Lani people, for helping restore our dignity and national identity even while under colonial rule. You left a good legacy in West Papua and throughout Melanesia. May you Rest in Peace.

I send my condolences and sympathy to Governor Lukas’ family and loved ones who are mourning today in West Papua and around the world.

Benny Wenda