West Papua Background

a database for journalists


This section answers the question:

When did important events take place in West Papua?

In 1526 the Portuguese arrived on the island and named it “Terra dos Papuas” – the land of the curly headed.

In 1898 The Dutch colonized the island they called West New Guinea. The Dutch prepared for the handover of West Papua independence in 1961.

When is divided into three timelines ranging from 1945 – 2015. I have chosen the time from 1945 and onwards as this is time just prior to the Indonesian sovereignty over West Papua.

Events between 1945 and 1970

Events between 1970 and 1995

Events between 1995 and 2020

Confused about the location of these events? Jump to the map of West Papua.

Uncertain of terms and acronyms check the West Papua Glossary!

Is there an event you do not see on these timelines, that you believe should be added – Please comment below.