Thursday, August 1, 2019

1) Displaced residents refuse govt aid, demand military withdraw from Nduga


2) 182 reportedly die while seeking refuge in Nduga conflict
3) Papua wants more Papuans involved in business, issues new procurement rules
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1) Displaced residents refuse govt aid, demand military withdraw from Nduga

Victor Mambor, Gisela Swaragita and Ardila Syakriah The Jakarta Post
Jayapura and Jakarta   /   Thu, August 1, 2019   /  03:11 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/-)


Despite government efforts to distribute aid for civilians who escaped armed conflict in Nduga regency, Papua, some evacuees have refused assistance and are instead demanding the withdrawal of security troops from the conflict-ridden regency so that they can return home.
As the security crackdown against armed rebels linked to the Free Papua Movement (OPM) continues in the region, thousands of civilians have fled their homes to seek refuge in shelters in Jayawijaya and Lanny Jaya regencies, living in uncertainty amid reportedly poor living conditions.
Displaced people living in shelters in Weneroma, Jayawijaya, refused to accept aid provided by the Social Affairs Ministry after they reportedly learned that military and police personnel were involved in the distribution of basic needs and medical assistance.
Local figures said the refusal was linked to the civilians’ distrust in security personnel due to their trauma over past military operations that resulted in violence in the region.
Rev. Desmon Walilo, the coordinator of Sinode Kingmi in Jayawijaya, said local residents of Nduga still held the belief that if they accepted aid or food from the people they considered the “enemy”, their bodies would become weak and they would eventually die.
“The evacuees flee their homeland because of the joint security operation [against armed rebels] by the military and the police, so they will refuse any [distribution] of aid involving military and police personnel,” Walilo said.
He said that the decision to refuse help was made at the end of a meeting involving local figures and church leaders on Monday, after the evacuees learned that the coordination meeting to distribute the aid was conducted at the Jayawijaya Military Command headquarters.
Rev. Kone Kogoya, the head of the Mugi presbytery in Nduga, handed over a letter stating the evacuees refused to accept any assistance to Harry Hikmat, the Social Affairs Ministry’s director general of protection and social security, when his team arrived to distribute the aid.
In the letter, the evacuees demanded that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo withdraw military troops from Nduga and asked the government to pay more attention to the wellbeing of civilians who lived in shelters as result of the armed conflict.
Harry acknowledged that the involvement of security personnel in distributing aid was met with resistance from the evacuees. However, he said that military and police personnel were involved because they had experience in the region.
“We will still try to channel the aid while having discussions with local figures on the best way to ensure that supplies are distributed,” Harry said. “We need to understand each other so that the humanitarian mission can be optimally carried out.”
The ministry had channeled aid worth nearly Rp 3.7 billion (US$262,518) since January to the evacuees living in shelters in the form of staple food, cooking utensils, school supplies and toys for toddlers, among other things.
Data collected by volunteers grouped under the Nduga Solidarity Civil Society Coalition revealed that tens of thousands of civilians had taken refuge in at least 40 shelters outside of Nduga amid the ongoing security operations against the OPM-linked armed rebels, following the rebels’ alleged killing of dozens of construction workers in December.
In a statement released Thursday, the coalition reported that 182 civilians living in shelters in a number of regencies, including in Wamena, Jayawijaya regency, died between December and July – allegedly from famine and poor living conditions – an increase from the previous reported number of 139 deaths.
Cendrawasih Military Command spokesman Lt. Col. Eko Daryanto said the military had yet to receive any updates regarding the death toll as reported by the coalition, saying that “there also might be differences in the perception or data regarding the cause of deaths” between different parties.
Eko went on to rebuff concerns that the local people still felt trauma because of the military, saying that he believed the people felt safer with military personnel there to protect them against the threat of armed rebels.
“As of now, there have been no orders for the military to withdraw troops from Nduga,” Eko told The Jakarta Post.
Harry also raised doubts over the accuracy of the data from the coalition, saying that it was not true that more than 130 civilians had died while living in the shelters.
Hipolitus Wangge, a researcher at Marthinus Academy who has been conducting fieldwork in Papua and member of the coalition, said that instead of simply denying the data, the ministry should be more active in the field to collect data on the displaced.
“If [officials] say the number [of deaths] we reported was baseless, then where is their data? Did they do their own data collecting?” he said.
In response to the issue, Papua Governor Lukas Enembe called for the Papua Social Affairs Agency to thoroughly collect data on displaced persons, saying that such data was key to comprehensively handle the evacuees. (afr)


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2) 182 reportedly die while seeking refuge in Nduga conflict

Ardila Syakriah The Jakarta Post
Jakarta   /   Thu, August 1, 2019   /   06:49 pm

Volunteers grouped under the Nduga Solidarity Civil Society Coalition reported in a statement on Thursday the deaths of 182 civilians who were taking refuge in various areas after fleeing from their homes in conflict-ridden Nduga regency between December and July.
They allegedly died from famine and other illnesses due to poor living conditions in the shelters after fleeing from their homes in the middle of a security conflict in the regency. The civilians were forced to escape the ongoing security operations against armed rebels linked to the Free Papua Movement (OPM) following the latter's killing of dozens of construction workers in Nduga in December.
The coalition previously reported on July 18 that 139 internally displaced people had died while seeking refuge, a figure rejected and claimed by the government as a "hoax". The government soon released its version of the death toll, citing that only 53 displaced people had died.
The claim prompted the group to verify its data with the help of the Papua Justice and Welfare Foundation (YKKMP), Kingmi church and Papuan People Assembly in Nduga by also involving the displaced, resulting in a higher fatality number than previously collected.
YKKMP director Theo Hesegem said the fatalities were recorded in several Nduga districts, such as Yigi, Mbua, Inikggal and Nirkuri, and also neighboring regencies, including Jayawijaya, Lani Jaya and Timika. Some of them also died while taking refuge in forests, he said.
"The alleged causes of death are famine because there was no food in the forests, and exposure to cold weather," he told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.
The group is also looking for a toddler who went missing after her mother, identified as Kenmalet Gwijangge, 26, was allegedly shot dead in an armed conflict between the military and rebels on July 4 in Mugi district.
Theo said the YKKMP and representatives from the Kingmi church had requested a ceasefire between the military and rebels in Mugi so that they could conduct a search for the toddler.
Cendrawasih Military Command spokesman Lt. Col. Eko Daryanto said he had yet to look into information regarding the missing toddler, adding that the military had yet to receive any updates regarding the death toll as reported by the coalition.
"There might also be differences in the perception or data regarding the cause of deaths [between different parties]," he said.
According to the coalition, tens of thousands of civilians had fled from their homes in Nduga to the forests and neighboring regencies, with some remaining in various districts in Nduga.


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3) Papua wants more Papuans involved in business, issues new procurement rules

Victor Mambor The Jakarta Post

Jayapura, Papua   /   Thu, August 1, 2019   /   04:17 pm

Papua Governor Lukas Enembe has issued a regulation to help boost the involvement of Papuan businesspeople in procurement projects and speed up development in Indonesia’s easternmost province.
The 2019 gubernatorial regulation on procurement is effective since Thursday. It serves to implement a 2019 presidential regulation on procurement in the provinces of Papua and West Papua.
“We expect more native Papuan businesspeople to be involved in the procurement of goods and services in the province with the issuance of the regulation,” Enembe said in Papua’s capital city of Jayapura on Tuesday.
He explained that the presidential regulation had three aspects to facilitate the involvement of Papuan businesspeople. The first is the direct procurement of goods and services worth up to Rp 1 billion (US$70,855) or consultation services worth up to Rp 200 million. 
The second is a limited tender for native Papuan businesspeople only, and the third is a partnership and subcontract for native Papuan businesspeople.
Enembe expressed hope that the regulation would spur interest of local businessmen to take part in the province’s projects.
This was especially important, he added, because provincial administration tenders for the procurement of goods and services had only reached Rp 2 trillion so far this year, while the province had budgeted Rp 14 trillion of for the procurement of goods and services in 2019.
There was also suspicion that the heads of working units in the administration split procurement projects into smaller projects worth no more than Rp 200 million each, thus enabling them to procure goods or services by direct appointment or self-management rather than through a tender, he added.
Enembe said he was irked because such practices had been conducted for years by rogue officials in the working units.
“Papua’s administration is collaborating with the Corruption Eradication Commission [KPK] in building an electronic government system to deal with such things,” Enembe said.
In response to the gubernatorial regulation, the Papuan Businessman Customary Chamber (KAPP) submitted to the provincial administration the profiles of 65 companies belonging to native Papuan businesspeople.
“We hope all working units will give native Papuan businesspeople wide opportunities,” KAPP chairman Musa Haluk said, adding that the 65 companies were spread out across the province and were active in their businesses.
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