Friday, January 18, 2013

1) UNHCR to scale back PNG operations

1) UNHCR to scale back PNG operations

2) Chaotic Campaign Event Injures Eight in Papua
3) Pato still mum on border

1) UNHCR to scale back PNG operations
Posted 18 January 2013, 15:44 AEST
The UNHCR has announced it will scale back its PNG operations, citing the growing expense of looking after refugees from the Indonesian province of Papua.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has announced it will scale back its operations in Papua New Guinea, citing the growing expense of looking after refugees from the Indonesian province of Papua.
The UNHCR has been providing protection and support to refugees from the Indonesian province of Papua for the last 28 years, including access to jobs, education and integration into PNG communities.
The UNHCR has signed an agreement formalising its transition of powers and responsibilities to the PNG government.
UNHCR representative, Walpurga Englbrecht, says the organisation is scaling back its operations due to financial constraints and other evolving refugee and humanitarian crisis in the Middle East and Africa.
Ms Englbrecht says the UNHCR is happy the PNG government will continue to look after the refugees.
''It is a very positive step, the signing of the memorandum of agreement," Ms Englbrecht said.
"It just shows the willingness of the Papua New Guinea government to further locally integrate the West Papuan refugees."
An estimated 8000 refugees live in PNG's Western province, most of whom had fled neighbouring Indonesia in the mid 1980s.
The PNG government says it will support in processing their permissive residency certificates and repatriate them if they wish to return.


2) Chaotic Campaign Event Injures Eight in Papua
Banjir Ambarita | January 18, 2013
Jayawijaya, PapuaAt least eight people were injured and dozens of vehicles were set on fire after a campaign event in Jayawijaya, Papua, turned violent on Friday. 

Eyewitnesses said the event turned chaotic after the head of the neighboring district of Lany Jaya, Befa Jigibalon, who appeared at the event in support of the Lukas Enembe-Klemen Tinal ticket, distributed Rp 100,000 notes to select members of the audience, which numbered in the several thousands.

Those who did not receive any money became angry and threw stones at the stage, injuring eight people who were immediately rushed to the hospital.

“They kept throwing stones for about 15 minutes. Security officers were helpless to stop them,” Ronald Tabuni, who witnessed the incident, told the Jakarta Globe on Friday.

The deputy district chief of Jayawijaya, John Banua, tried to calm down the crowd by distributing more cash, but the tactic didn't work. 

“Not everyone got the money, so they kept being anarchic and throwing stones,” Ronald added.

The crowd also threw stones at shops and the Baliem Pilamo Hotel, where Lukas and Klemen were staying, not far from the campaign venue on Jalan Tikora, located in the subdistrict of Wamena.

Papua Police spokesman Sr. Comr. I Gede Sumerta Jaya said that no fatalities resulted from the incident, and when asked about the situation, he mentioned only the eight injured victims and the dozens of damaged vehicles. 

A car belonging to John was vandalized, as was another owned by local police.

Shops remained closed in Wamena at the time of publication, in fear of continued attacks. Owners of torched vehicles demanded Lukas and Klemen to compensate the damages.

Another campaign event also reportedly turned violent in the Papua district of Yahukimo, after supporters of gubernatorial candidates from the Golkar Party and the Democratic Party clashed.

A police officer was reportedly injured in the incident, while two police guns went missing.

Papua, Indonesia’s easternmost province and a restive region, is set to hold a gubernatorial election on Jan. 29.

3) Pato still mum on border

FOREIGN Minister Rimbink Pato was still waiting yesterday to be briefed on the border altercation between Wutung villagers and Indonesian soldiers one week ago before making a statement on the matter, acting Foreign Affairs secretary Lucy Bogari told the Post-Courier. But the villagers claim there are serious underlying issues which have triggered the recent incident, especially to do with their customary land on the Indonesian side of the border, and they are calling on PNG authorities to do something about it or the border problems will continue.
The first incident one week ago today triggered a near-confrontation on the Papua New Guinea-Indonesia border between disgruntled Wutung and Sandaun (West Sepik) villagers and armed Indonesian soldiers.
Wutung rural local level government president Patrick Muliale told the Post-Courier that last Thursday, an armed Indonesian soldier tried to prevent a Wutung youth from riding his motor cycle into Bartas on the Indonesian side of the border for reasons unknown and the soldier allegedly assaulted the youth.
Mr Muliale said the soldier was then mobbed by angry Wutung youths and a stand-off ensued between armed Indonesian soldiers and the youths.
“The youths were not satisfied with the treatment and on Saturday, they pulled down the Indonesian flag and another altercation ensued, but officials from both PNG and Indonesia managed to cull the situation,” he said.
Mr Muliale said yesterday that the situation is tense on the ground and there are other border issues that may have triggered the incident.
“We want Waigani to be more effective and proactive in its approach to border issues,” he said.
Meanwhile, acting secretary for the department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, (DFAT) Ambassador Lucy Bogari says the government has its schedule, so the Post-Courier, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Rimbink Pato will be fully briefed before he makes an official statement on the incident.
When that statement will be made is not known and Ambassador Bogari said DFAT’s director general for political security and treaties will have a report ready for Minister Pato.
But Ms Bagari’s response has not gone down well with Mr Muliale, who asked the DFAT to be more proactive in its approach and to have more effective border administration office to deal issues as and when they arise.
Mr Muliale said his people are continuously being harassed by Indonesian soldiers and authorities and the underlying issue is the international border.
“Our traditional land where we make gardens and where our hunting grounds
are is on the Indonesian side of the border and we use traditional border passes, but when they (Indonesian authorities) refuse us entry and want passports, we are placed in a dilemma,” he said.
He said they are then unable to go to their gardens, which is rightfully on their very own land but in Indonesia.
“The Indonesian check point used to be at Tami River but when they built Bartas,
they also moved it closer to the Papua New Guinea border,” he said. 



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