The Netherlands New Guinea and Dutch New Guinea in Dutch Nederlands Nieuw-Guinea , is a colony of the Netherlands located in the western part of New Guineabetween 1945 and 1962 . It arose from the desire of the Netherlands not to incorporate this part of the Dutch East Indies at the time of the declaration of independence of Indonesia on. After recognition of this independence by the Netherlands in 1949 , Jakarta fights for the incorporation of this colony into Indonesia and brings the case to the United Nations . After a brief airborne landing of Indonesian paratroopers , the sovereignty of the colony is transferred to the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority on before incorporation into Indonesia on in the form of a province .


Dutch New Guinea occupied the western part of the island of New Guinea and nearby islands such as Schouten , Numfoor , Japen , Waigeo and Misool . In total, the area of ​​the colony covers 420,540 km 2 . Its only land border is shared with the territory of Papua New Guinea . The capital of the territory is Hollandia located to the northeast.

The Maoke Mountains form the backbone of New Guinea and cut the colony in half. On both sides of this mountain range, which rises to an altitude of 4,884 meters at the Carstensz pyramid, lie vast plains covered with rainforest and marshy forests , especially to the south. The westernmost part of the territory is divided into numerous peninsulas , the largest of which is the Doberai peninsula .

The climate of the majority of the territory is equatorial but a mountain climate is present on the highest peaks of the Maoke mountains.


In 1828 , the Dutch East Indies grew with the incorporation of the western part of New Guinea .

The Dutch decided to centralize their colonial empire in Southeast Asia in a single colony, and they incorporated the Papuan territories into the Dutch East Indies, while the ethnic groups there were different from the Malay world, and rather close to the Melanesian ethnic groups. Polynesian. In 1885, the decision will be final, and the western part of the new Guinea is definitively administratively attached to the colonial whole of the Netherlands Indies. Later, the Dutch will not be able to backtrack, the Indonesian nationalists considering this territory as “integral part” of the future Indonesia.

Two days after the departure of the Japanese who occupied the colony , Indonesia proclaims its independence on. The Netherlands thenfrom the Dutch East Indies to the western part of New Guinea and make it a colony under the name of Dutch New Guinea with Hollandia as its capital .

Four years later, the the Netherlands recognizes Indonesia’s independence and signs a charter with Jakartastipulating that Dutch New Guinea would be incorporated into Indonesia after one year. However, the Netherlands maintains their presence in the colony beyond the deadline. The case is brought before the United Nations in 1954 . Indonesia considers that Western New Guinea comes to its right while the Netherlands wants self – determination of the Papuan population who are not part of the Indonesian people. However, no decision emerged from the examination of the case from 1954 to 1957 , in 1961 and1962 .

Tension mounts between the Netherlands and Indonesia when paratroopers from this country were dropped over Netherlands New Guinea during the operation Trikora  (in) . The Netherlands regards this intrusion as an armed aggression while Indonesia invokes the right of Indonesians to move freely within their own country. Several battles, including the battle of the Arafura Sea on January 15, 1962, took place between the armed forces of the Netherlands and the Indonesian army , supported by the Soviet Union, which deployed 15,000 troops and 12 sub – units. Whiskey class sailors flying the Indonesian flag 1 .

On 17 January, the United Nations Secretary-General , supported by the US State Department, urges both sides to avoid any precipitous action.

On 6 February 1962, the United States banned their airports from Dutch planes carrying reinforcements over the area.

On March 20, 1962, negotiations began between the two warring parties in the Washington area.

May 4, 1962, announcement of the beginning of the Indonesian parachutes in New Guinea and defense of the Dutch forces.

On May 8, an agreement was reached in Moscow for the substantial delivery of Soviet military equipment to Indonesia and reaffirmation of the USSR’s full support for Jakarta’s demands.

On 17 June, the Netherlands accepts Ellsworth Bunker ‘s plan for the settlement of the dispute with Indonesia 2 .

Talks between the two countries and under the aegis of the United Nations finally lead to an agreement on  under pressure from the United States, signed by the different parties the in United Nations offices under the name ” New York Agreement “.

This agreement provides for the transfer of the sovereignty of Netherlands New Guinea to a special United Nations temporary agency known as the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority ( UNTEA ) and entrusted to an administrator recognized by the Netherlands and Indonesia and endorsed by the United Nations. This agreement comes into force on. A few days earlier, the majority of Dutch officials , including the governor general , leave the colony leaving many vacant posts that will gradually be taken over by Papuan and Indonesian officials. The United Nations flag is hoisted alongside the Netherlands flag , political prisoners sentenced before that date are amnestied and the capital of the territory, Hollandia, is renamed Kotabaru .


Notes and references

  1. ↑ Dmitry Kazennov, ” The Mysteries of Russian history. A mission to Indonesia ”  [ archive ] , on the way to Russia , (accessed January 2, 2015 ) .
  2. ↑ Françoise Mossy and Jean-Francois Julliard, ” Chronology of international legal facts ,” French Yearbook of International Law , vol.  8, o 8,p.  1037-1108 ( read online  [ archive ] ).