Papuans eligible for citizenship

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The National,Thursday June 30th, 2016

WEST Papuan refugees who have been living in Papua New Guinea since 1962 are now eligible to become citizens, according to Chief Migration Officer Mataio Rabura.
He said there were more than 10,000 West Papuan refugees who would not be required to pay the citizenship fee of K10,000 because they had been residing in PNG for more than eight years.
Rabura met West Papuan refugee leaders in Vanimo, West Sepik, on Monday. He said this was the opportunity Government provided for refugees to become citizens.
“This will allow you to move around freely, get education and employment benefits, go overseas on PNG passport, vote or even contest the national election and enjoy other benefits like any PNG citizen,” he said.
Rabura said West Papuans were not forced to be registered as PNG citizens.
“It is a voluntarily arrangement for them to be registered including their non-West Papuan spouses.  This is the only time for them to give up their refugee status and become PNG citizens,” he said.
“Our team is now in Vanimo. They will go to Wewak (East Sepik), Madang, Lae (Morobe), Salasia camp (Manus) and East Awin camp (Western).”
Rabura said West Papuans could relinquish their citizenship later on if they wished to return to Indonesia.