Friday, July 19, 2019

1) Navy chief of staff talks maritime security with Australia

2) 139 Nduga residents reportedly die in shelters amid poor living conditions

1) Navy chief of staff talks maritime security with Australia

Dian Septiari The Jakarta Post
Jakarta   /   Fri, July 19, 2019   /   08:40 pm

Navy chief of staff Adm. Siwi Sukma Adji met with Australian chief of navy Vice Adm. Michael Joseph Noonan on Friday in Canberra to discuss the importance of maintaining maritime security.
In the meeting, they agreed to enhance cooperation between the two navies in the field of training, as the two sides acknowledged cooperation through interaction between people was very important in order to understand each other, according to a statement issued by the Navy.
“The relations between the Indonesian Navy and the Australian Navy are very well established, and have been implemented through a variety of bilateral cooperation initiatives including the Cassoex Exercise New Horizon and Ausindo Corpat joint training programs. The two countries also actively participated in exercises involving other countries such as the Kakadu Multilateral and Komodo Multilateral Naval Exercise (MNEK) initiated by the Indonesian Navy,” the statement read.
Siwi’s working visit to Australia was a reciprocal visit following Noonan’s visit to Jakarta in November. They also previously met on board the HMAS Canberra, which was docked in Jakarta in May on the sidelines of the Indo Pacific Endeavor 2019.
In addition to meeting Noonan, Siwi also paid a courtesy call to the Australian chief of the defense force, who was represented on this occasion by the vice chief of the Australian Defense Force Vice Adm. David Lance Johnston, as well as secretary of defense Gregory Laurence Moriarty.
Siwi also met with the Indonesian Ambassador to Australia Y. Kristiarto S. Legowo.

2) 139 Nduga residents reportedly die in shelters amid poor living conditions
Ardila Syakriah The Jakarta Post
Jakarta   /   Fri, July 19, 2019   /  08:35 pm

Students who fled from their homes in Nduga regency study at a makeshift school in Wamena regency on March 5.(Courtesy of Ence Geong/-)

Volunteers have recorded the deaths of 139 civilians living in shelters in Wamena of Jayawijaya regency in Papua, who had escaped conflict-ridden Nduga regency between December and July. They allegedly died because of famine and poor living conditions.
Data collected by volunteers grouped under the Nduga Solidarity Civil Society Coalition revealed that as of June, 5,201 people, around 700 of whom were children, had sought refuge in various regions outside of Nduga amid the ongoing armed conflict between the military and proindependence fighters of the Papua National Liberation Army, following the latter's alleged killing of dozens of construction workers in December. 
The displaced people came from 13 affected districts in Nduga, 11 of which volunteers said had been completely vacated after the conflict. The figure, however, may not cover all displaced people given that some have moved to other provinces and forests.
Many who died were adults and toddlers, the data showed.
"Many of them died because of famine. Others died within three or four days of suffering diarrhea, headaches or upper tract respiratory infections. We need professional medical teams to investigate whether these supposedly light illnesses were the causes of their deaths," Wamena-based volunteer Doly Ubruwangge said in a press briefing at the headquarters of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute Foundation in Jakarta on Thursday.
Hipolitus Wangge, a researcher at the Marthinus Academy who has been conducting fieldwork in Papua and is also a member of the coalition, said there had been a serious lack of logistics and professional medical assistance for the displaced, resulting in their deteriorating health and undesirable living conditions and diets.
"The government hasn't acknowledged Nduga's displaced people. There hasn't been any coordination between the central government, relevant ministries or local governments to assign teams to handle [this issue] and distribute assistance," Hipolitus said.
He added that the displaced, especially children, were in dire need of trauma healing by professionals, as volunteers were mostly Wamena locals and Nduga's displaced. The sessions were needed as many of the displaced had expressed fear of military personnel and people from outside the region, he said.
National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) commissioner Saur Tumiur Situmorang concurred, urging the government to provide shelters and health assistance, as well as collect data on the displaced.
"Children fear military personnel, outsiders, including Komnas Perempuan, even though we were accompanied by volunteers during our visit there," Saur said.
The Nduga conflict began after an ambush believed to be linked to the Free Papua Movement (OPM) killed dozens of construction workers from state-owned construction firm PT Istaka Karya and one soldier on Dec. 1. The incident led to a military crackdown to hunt down the suspected perpetrators, allegedly affecting civilians along the way.
Indonesian Institute of Sciences researcher Cahyo Pamungkas said that trauma from the conflicts was a collective experience of Papuan civilians, noting that the ongoing Nduga conflict was a recurrence of the 1996 conflict taking place in the regency's Mapenduma district.
"The government should free [Papuan people] from memories of the suffering and the way to do that is by stopping any form of violence, withdrawing military personnel from the region, continuing peaceful dialogues with local figures, reconstructing history by acknowledging the problems during Papua's integration into Indonesia and reconciling or taking past human rights violations to court," he said.
Papua military spokesman Col. Muhammad Aidi told The Jakarta Post that reports on the number of refugees and deaths were a "hoax" being spread by armed separatist groups.
"There is no data on Nduga's population prior to the PT Istaka Karya incident, as we all know that the Nduga administration doesn't record the regency's population. There's also no data on the reported 139 deaths," he said in a text message, adding that he had not received data on the number of refugees from local administrations.
He said the military had coordinated with the Nduga and Jayawijaya administrations to distribute food, health and educational assistance to the displaced, some of whom had returned to their homes.

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