Monday, September 23, 2019

1) At least 20 dead in protests in Indonesia's West Papua

2) Death Toll Rises to 20 in Papua Unrest; Hundreds Arrested
3) Indonesian police examine link between violence in Wamena and Jayapura
4) President orders authority to tackle Papua unrest: Moeldoko
5) Airport Closed as Riot Breaks Out in Wamena

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1) At least 20 dead in protests in Indonesia's West Papua

Clashes between protesters and government forces in Jayapura have killed at least four people, including a policeman.
by Febriana Firdaus  5 hours ago

At least 20 people have been killed, including three shot by police, and dozens injured following a new wave of violent clashes between demonstrators and government forces in Indonesia's West Papua region on Monday, prompting President Joko Widodo to call a security meeting.
Sixteen people were killed in Wamena city where hundreds demonstrated and burned down a government office and other buildings, authorities said.
Four of the other fatalities were from the clashes that took place on Monday in Jayapura, the provincial capital, Aloysius Giyai, head of Papua province's health office, told the news website, Jubi.
Dedi Prasetyo, a spokesman of Indonesia's national police, also confirmed to Al Jazeera that one police officer was killed. He could not confirm the number of fatalities among the demonstrators.

In a statement sent to the media, Lt Col Eko Daryanto, a military spokesman in Papua province, said members of the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) gathered at the Cenderawasih University.
Authorities later ordered the protesters to move the demonstration outside of the campus, which resulted in deadly clashes.
Albertho Rumsaur, a resident of Jayapura, said he witnessed the clashes between the joint police-military forces and the students.
"The students threw rocks and the police fired tear gas," he told Al Jazeera.
Siska Manam, a student, said she also saw civilian militia, who support the military, carrying wood and machetes, giving a chase to the students.
The AMP student alliance, however, denied that they have members in Jayapura, adding that they only have a local group in the restive region.

The AMP is a leading organisation of Papua students that has called for more freedom in the region.
Jhon Gobai, chairman of the alliance, told Al Jazeera that the government should "stop scape-goating" the student group for Monday's protests.
Indonesia's West Papua region is divided into two provinces: West Papua and Papua. Jayapura is the biggest city in Papua province, with a population of some 500,000 people.
Several people were killed during protests in Jayapura last month when the unrest erupted.

Since then, the government has deployed thousands of troops to the region and arrested activists to quell the protests.
West Papua was a Dutch colony until the early 1960s when Indonesia took control, cementing its rule with a controversial referendum.
The government in Jakarta maintains the West Papua region, which occupies the western half of the island of Papua New Guinea, is Indonesia's because it was part of the Dutch East Indies that forms the basis of the country's modern-day borders.
A low-level armed rebellion by indigenous Papuans, who now make up about half the population after years of migration by people from other parts of Indonesia, has been rumbling ever since.
West Papua is the poorest region in the country and there have been allegations of human rights violations.
At least 17 people were killed after violence erupted in December, which triggered a military crackdown.
Some 35,000 civilians have been forced from their homes as security forces attempt to flush out the rebels from the forested mountains.

2) Death Toll Rises to 20 in Papua Unrest; Hundreds Arrested 
SEPTEMBER 23, 2019
 Jakarta. Unrest that broke out in Jayapura and Wamena in Papua Province on Monday has claimed the lives of at least 20 people, while dozens more were injured, officials said.
National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo said four people – a soldier and three members of the Papuan Students Alliance (AMP) – have died in the incident in Jayapura. Seven policemen and 20 civilians were injured.
Dedi told journalist in Jakarta on Monday that Papuan students who returned from their places of study elsewhere in Indonesia held a rally outside Cendrawasih University in the morning, requesting the establishment of a coordinating office for them on the campus, which was denied.
The university called police to disperse the crowd of about 200 students after the discussions ended. The students then agreed to be transported to an area near the Expo Waena Cultural Park.
"We are investigating who provoked the students, because they suddenly brutally attacked security force members," Dedi said about what transpired after police and military personnel delivered the students to their destination.
He said the security forces fired warning shots to calm the situation after the soldier was killed and seven policemen were wounded. Police officers were also pelted with rocks, while some were attacked with sharp objects.
"It is suspected [that the three students] died after being struck by rubber bullets, but autopsies will be performed," the police spokesman said.
Police have arrested 318 students at the location and transferred them to the Papua Police headquarters for questioning, he added.
Cendrawasih Military Command spokesman Lt. Col. Eko Daryanto separately told the Jakarta Globe that 16 civilians had died in unrest in Wamena in Jayawijaya district on Monday. Some of them died after being trapped in burning buildings, which were set alight by rioters. About 65 people were wounded in the violence.
The riot in Wamena started after a brawl between students from two different high school spun out of control and turned into anarchy, when a crowd started to set fire to government buildings, public facilities and private houses. The city's airport was also closed due to the unrest.
Benny Wenda
The police spokesman said Benny Wenda, leader of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), who now lives in Britain, was likely behind Monday's violence in the two Papuan cities.
"From the start, these events cannot be separated from Benny Wenda, the ULMWP and its allies in the KNPB [West Papua National Committee]. The KNPB has infiltrated the AMP. The AMP was used to provoke members of the public and students during the incident at Cendrawasih University," Dedi said.
The Indonesian government previously also blamed Benny Wenda and the ULMWP and KNPB for the unrest in Papua and West Papua in August.

3) Indonesian police examine link between violence in Wamena and Jayapura
4 hours ago

A riot broke out in Wamena, the capital city of Jayawijaya District, Papua Province, on September 23, 2019 (ANTARA/HO/pri)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Police revealed that they were thoroughly examining a likely link between a rally that native Papuan students staged at the Cenderawasih University campus in Jayapura and a riot in Wamena on Monday.

"The two rallies are different but police investigators are examining an indication of their linkage," National Police Spokesman, Brig.Gen.Dedi Prasetyo, told journalists in Jakarta on Monday.

As requested by the Cenderawasih University (Uncen) rector, the security personnel negotiated with the demonstrating students who occupied the auditorium of the campus and disrupted the teaching and learning process at the public university, he said.

Initiated by the students who recently returned home after leaving their universities outside the Papua and West Papua Provinces, the demonstrators demanded that they should be allowed to set up a command post inside the Uncen campus.

The Papua police and rectorate at Uncen did not allow them to stage the demonstration. Instead, the police asked the demonstrators to get back to the Expo Wamena area and facilitated this through military trucks and public buses, escorted by security personnel.

However, several demonstrators who belong to the Papua Student Alliance (AMP) attacked and killed one of the drivers of the trucks. The victim was identified as an Indonesian soldier named Private Zulkifli.

Regarding the Wamena rioting, Papua Police Chief, Inspector General Rudolf A. Rodja, believed that the violence might have been fueled by the proliferation of hoaxes through social media platforms that incited public ire among the residents of Wamena.

"We are on the lookout for those creating and spreading fake news," he stated.

The riot that erupted in Wamena, the capital city of Jayawijaya District, Papua Province, on Monday, resulted in several properties, including people's houses, the Jayawijaya district office, and motorcycles being burnt.

"I have just received information about several motorcycles in Wamena being set alight," he revealed.

Related news: Authority confirms suspension of flight operations at Wamena Airport

Several local media reports stated that the Wamena riot was instigated by hoaxes pertaining to a teacher's racist slur against native Papuan students.

Due to the riot that broke out in Wamena, the Wamena Airport authority temporarily grounded flight operations on Monday.

"The suspension was put in place at 10:30 a.m. local time after three cargo aircraft were allowed to take off," Head of Wamena Airport, Joko Harjani, stated.

Harjani noted that the airport authority serves 120 daily flights from and to Wamena, though today's riot that had ended with the rampant scorching of buildings and kiosks in the city led to the suspension of flight operations at the airport. 
Related news: President orders authority to tackle Papua unrest: Moeldoko

Related news: Papua Police Chief confirms hoax fueled mass protest in Wamena

Related news: Police launch manhunt for hoax suspect

Reporter: Dyah DA, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf

4) President orders authority to tackle Papua unrest: Moeldoko
8 hours ago
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo has instructed the authority to tackle the unrest in Papua proportionally and professionally, Chief of the Presidential Staff Moeldoko quoted the President as saying. Military and police personnel should show restraint while handling demonstrations in the region, Moeldoko said at the Presidential Palace Complex here Monday.

"There is no order to take repressive action, all parties should practice self-restraint," he added.

Earlier in the day, a mass protest in Wamena, Jayawijaya District, Papua has turned violent with some rioters torching several facilities.

The demonstrations were held in several areas in Wamena. A report received by Antara in Jayapura found that the demonstrators, comprising mostly youngsters, had set fire to several public facilities, such as office complexes.

Related news: Papua Police Chief confirms hoax fueled mass protest in Wamena

Papua Police Chief Inspector General Rudolf A. Rodja attributed the mass protest in Wamena to the spreading of a hoax or fake news about a teacher mouthing some racist words against a Papuan student.

The mass protest or demonstration had been localized and secured by personnel of the National Police’s Mobile Brigade (Brimob) Operation Control Assistance (BKO) Nusantara, who were seconded in Wamena, Jayawijaya District, Rodja affirmed.

The information about a teacher using racist words was false and based on the police’s assessment of the validity of the information, Rodja clarified.

The police is launching an organized and intensive search for a person suspected of spreading fake news. (INE)


Related news: Authority confirms suspension of flight operations at Wamena Airport

Related news: Police launch manhunt for hoax suspect
Reporter: Bayu Prasetyo, Sri Haryati
Editor: Fardah Assegaf

5) Airport Closed as Riot Breaks Out in Wamena
SEPTEMBER 23, 2019 
Jakarta. A riot broke out in Wamena, the capital of the Jayawijaya district in Papua, on Monday morning after a crowd protesting ethnic and racial discrimination against Papuan students on the island of Java started burning some government buildings in the city, including the Wamena district head office, forcing local officials to close the Wamena Airport, Antara news agency reported.
The head of Jayawijaya Police, Chief Cmr. Toni Ananda, said police officers and Army soldiers have been deployed to subdue the chaos in some parts of the district capital this morning. 
"Police and soldiers are working to handle the situation and prevent the riot from spreading. Right now, the situation is under control," National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo said in Jakarta this morning.
Dedi said he could not confirm information that the Wamena district head office had been burned to the ground.
"I can't confirm that information but some public facilities had been damaged [in the riot]," Dedi said.
Joko Harjani, the head of the Wamena Airport, confirmed it had been closed by order of the authorities since 10.30 a.m. Eastern Indonesian Time on Monday. There is no word on when it will be reopened.
On average, 120 flights go through the airport, located in the popular tourist destination Baliem Valley, every day. 
Three cargo planes managed to depart from the airport on Monday morning before all operations were shut down.
"There is no plane at the airport now," Joko said, adding that he will have to wait for an all-clear from the police and the local military office before he could reopen the airport.
Anthonius Praptono, the head of Sentani Airport in Papua's Jayapura district, said 20 flights bound to the Wamena Airport had already been canceled.
Flying is the most popular mode of transportation in Papua due to the lack of roads and the difficult terrain of the island.
Antara also reported another student rally in Jayapura, the capital of Papua, on Monday morning, which spread panic among the residents there.
Many schools in the city decided to send their students home for the day.
A few hundred students from Jayapura's Cendrawasih University had gathered in their campus to protest racist treatment and police brutality against their fellow Papuan students in East Java in August, according to reports from an Antara journalist in Jayapura.
The incident in East Java had provoked violent protests in several cities in Papua and West Papua that went on for almost two weeks last month before the police and the military restored orderat the end of August.

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