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West Papua (Indonesian province)

West Papua (Indonesian: Papua Barat; formerly West Irian Jaya or Irian Jaya Barat) with population around 800,000, is the least populous province of Indonesia on the western end of the island of New Guinea. It covers the Bird's Head (or Doberai) Peninsula and surrounding islands. The capital of West Papua is in Manokwari. The province is administratively divided into eight regencies (kabupaten) and one city (kota): * Fak-fak (Fak-Fak) * Kaimana * Manokwari *Raja Ampat (capital Waisai) *Sorong *Kota Sorong (city) *Sorong Selatan (capital Teminabuan) *Teluk Bintuni (capital Bintuni) *Teluk Wondama (capital Rasiei) West Papua was created from the western portion of Papua province in February 2003, initially under the name of Irian Jaya Barat, and was renamed Papua Barat (West Papua) on 7 February 2007. The split remains controversial. Supporters, including those in the central government in Jakarta and immigrants to Papua from elsewhere in Indonesia, argue that the creation of the new province will help ensure the efficient management of resources and fair distribution of services. The split is widely opposed in Papua itself, where it is viewed as a violation of special autonomy laws governing Papua, and as an effort to quell the Papuan separatist movement (see History of Western New Guinea). In November 2004, an Indonesian court agreed that the split violated Papua's autonomy laws. However, the court ruled that because the new province had already been created, it should remain separate from Papua. The ruling also prohibited the creation of another proposed province, Central Irian Jaya, because the split was not yet completed.
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