Nicolaas Jouwe

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Nicolaas Jouwe (1962)

Nicolaas Jouwe (24 November 1923[1][2] – 16 September 2017)[3] was a Papuan leader who was elected vice president of the New Guinea Council that governed the Dutch colony of Netherlands New Guinea. As the president of the New Guinea Council was the Dutch civil servant Frits Sollewijn Gelpke, Jouwe was the highest ranking Papuan politician in the colony. After the colony was ceded to the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority in October 1962 and subsequently to Indonesia six months later, he left New Guinea for the Netherlands, where he settled in the town of Delft. He vowed never to return to his native land if it were still occupied by Indonesia, but returned in 2010 to die there.[4]

In October 2008, a documentary was broadcast on Dutch television about Jouwe's life. In it, he reiterated his stance not to return to Indonesian occupied West Papua. In January 2009, he was invited by the Indonesian government to visit his ancestral land. He responded positively, and visited Papua and Indonesia in March 2009.[5] About this visit a follow-up documentary was made by the same director.

Jouwe died on 16 September 2017 at age 93.[6]


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