• Contested territories
  • Declaration of Independence 1 December 1961
  • Administered by Indonesia
  • Anthem Hai Tanahku Papua (Oh My Land Papua)
  • Motto One people, one soul
  • Interim President Benny Wenda (in exile in the UK)

The Republic of West Papua is an unrecognized, proposed state on the western half of the island of New Guinea. It is home to many unique species of wildlife including tree kangaroos and birds of paradise. It is also one of the world’s most resource rich areas containing huge reserves of oil, gas, copper, gold and timber. Previously a Dutch colony along with the islands that now make up Indonesia, West Papua remained under Dutch control when the Republic of Indonesia became independent in 1949. The Dutch government began preparing West Papua for independence throughout the 1950s, and on 1 December 1961, West Papua held a Congress at which its people declared independence, and raised their new flag – the Morning Star. However, the Indonesian army took over control and killed and imprisoned thousands of Papuans. The independence struggle continues ever since.