AN activist group on their mission known as ‘The Walk Against Impunity,’ has been in Vanuatu this week, raising awareness about the struggle for justice and freedom in Maluku and West Papua.
The team has been to Port Vila, Luganville and Pentecost spreading the word on Maluku and West Papua’s freedom. The team was led by Dutch activist Francis Janssen and his team.
The team members said this was his second walk against impunity because Mr Janssen was inspired by the words of late Father Walter Hadye Lini: “Vanuatu is not free until all of Melanesia is free.”
Francis Janssen, accompanied by Marcel Tomasowa and Isaac Pattikawa, arrived in Port Vila on February 11, where they were welcomed by Peter Ranbel and Alul Ravue Fanbir.
In preparation for the walk, the team spent their first days in Port Vila meeting with very special people – Andy Ayamiseba, David Thomas, Chiefs Nakamal, Barak Sope, Yoan Simon, and Pastor Alan Nafuki and members of the Lini family.
Mr Janssen had an intensive conversation with Hilda Lini.
“This very inspiring lady made a deep impression, and the walking team marks her words: ‘If Maluku and West Papua will become independent, the first 10 years will be very tough, but that should not withhold you from continuing the struggle’, Ms Lini told us,” he said.
Mr Janssen’s first walk against Impunity took place in Timor-Leste in 2015 in commemoration of the sad anniversary of the killing of five foreign journalists in the village of Balibo. The journalists murdered by Indonesian military in the wake of the Indonesian invasion.
Mr Janssen dedicated his first walk to the brave people of Timor-Leste who persisted in their struggle for freedom.
“The atrocities that occurred in Timor-Leste during the Indonesian occupation are still happening in West Papua and Maluku today.
“No freedom of press, no freedom of expression, no freedom.
“However, the people still deal with occupation, oppression and violence.”
This gives the reason for Mr Janssen to continue walking against impunity because, he says, impunity is a green light for perpetrators to continue and repeat the atrocities, over and over again.
Those taking part said they hope this Walk against Impunity will be an inspiration to young Ni-Vanuatu, international activists and to all those who care about human dignity, freedom and self-determination.
They said they are in good spirits and no storm can stop them from walking against impunity.
Follow Francis and his team at: www.facebook.com/walkagainstimpunity2blog