It’s all coming together. After doing some research on the area, I am realizing why the Indonesian government wants to restrict foreign access to Papua and West Papua. It’s due to sensitivities regarding Indonesian suppression of Papuan nationalism. In a geographical sense, New Guinea is the second largest island in the world behind Greenland. The island is split down the middle. Papua New Guinea encompasses the eastern side of the Island, while Indonesia controls the western side. The western part is split into two provinces Papua and West Papua. These two provinces were a Dutch colony until 1962, when they became provinces of Indonesia. There was an agreement between the Netherlands and Indonesia to allow local Pupuans to hold a vote for local governance within 10 years. When they did vote for a leader, he was assassinated. Genocide has also occurred with over 20,000 indigenous people murdered and an estimated 15,000 escaping to Papua New Guinea. This area has immense natural resources, making it hard for the Indonesian government and companies involved to hand over. I’m trying not to have a concrete opinion on the situation, and hope to learn more once I’m there.