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The Republic of West Papua
Republik Papua Barat
|Motto: "Precious Nation"|
|Anthem: "Our Land"
Location of West Papua (in green)
|Official languages||English, Papuan-Irian|
|Ethnic groups||Melanesians, Indonesians|
|-||Vice President||Irene Manibuy|
|-||Independence from Indonesia||2008|
|Currency||West Papuan Dollar|
|Time zone||EIT (UTC+09)|
A former Indonesian province, West Papua broke away from Indonesia in 2008, and was one of the break-away countries of the Asia-Pacific region that was rewarded an independent status by The Hague, as well as the United Nations, joining Bangsamoro which had broke away from the Philippines. It had been involved with an armed struggle against the Indonesian Armed Forces for control for self-governance and independence. The worse fightings took place in 2005, took a brief decline in 2006 and 2007 and only worsened in 2008 when the West Papuan Liberation Army, who relied on illicit weapons trade, launched a series of attacks, against Indonesian army and police stations across the islands.
Culturally speaking, West Papua is a very diverse nation, with its native peoples belonging to the Melanesian ethnic group, it shares identical cultural traits with its eastern neighbor Papua New Guinea. It is also one of the world's most sparsely-populated countries, with a popualation of only 1,005,000 people. It is the second-most sparsely population country in the Asia-Pacific region, second to Mongolia. Unlike its eastern neighbor Papua New Guinea, the new West Papuan government adopted a policy of Kemajuan, or progress - promoting industrialization, and a developing economy. Consequently, the native rural cultures and customary lifestyles of its natives have become ignored and discouraged - leading to criticisms against the current West Papuan government to be as corrupt as the previous Indonesian government that had occupied the land before it. The West Papuan government has been known to encourage, and force many of the indigenous peoples to migrate to settled communities and major cities, while giving and selling their land to wealthy foreign settlers. The mass influx of settlers, brought in from foreign countries only worsens the situation, it is predicted that by as early as 2019, West Papua's population is mostly consist of non-native settlers and their descendants.
Still, society continues to be plagued, as ethnic tensions between the native Melanesian - and the ethnic Indonesians (who form the majority of the elite and enjoy superior housing and lifestyle) continue to ravage the country. Militancy and crime runs rampant, forcing the United Nations to send peace-keepers to West Papua.
English and Papuan-Irian are the two official languages of West Papua, with the Papuan-Irian language being a Malay-based creole (also known sometimes as "Papuan/Irian Malay"). Christianity forms the majority, at 54% while Islam forms a large minority, at 40% and other religions, such as Animism, Shamanism, Paganism and Buddhism at 6%. Unlimited freedom of religion is guaranteed by the West Papuan Constitution.