On 28 May, Mote was denied entry at the Jacksons International Airport, without any formal explanation.
“No reason was given why I was refused permission to enter the country. I was not presented with any written explanation, I was just told it was an ‘order from the top’. Although I am seeking clarification about why I was denied entry I accept this decision of the sovereign nation of Papua New Guinea.”
“I was treated very respectfully as a wantok by Immigration officials and I want to emphasise that I was not deported,” said Mote.
This is the second time a leader from the United Liberation Movement for West Papua has been refused entry to Papua New Guinea. Benny Wenda was also refused entry in 2015 when he attempted to lobby the Papua New Guinea government.
Mote was travelling to Papua New Guinea as a guest of the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu government.
“I was invited to assist both delegations with various resolutions they planned to table at the African Caribbean Pacific meeting of the European Union which is being held in Port Morseby.”
“I would like to express my thanks to the MSG countries for their ongoing support of West Papua. I look forward to the forthcoming MSG Leaders’ Summit to clarify all matters relating to ULMWP’s application for full membership.”
“I wish to extend my gratitude to the people of Papua New Guinea for their ongoing support. I look forward to a clearer and better understanding of Papua New Guinea’s position on West Papua, said Mote.