Tuesday, September 24, 2019

1) Deadly rioting flares up again in Indonesia's Papua

2) ULMWP Chair: Urgent United Nations and Pacific Islands Forum intervention needed to prevent more massacres in West Papua

3) Indonesia: Death toll mounts after new West Papua clashes

4) Indonesia urges against Papua unrest amid pro-freedom protests

5) West Papua: Day of violence sees at least 27 dead
6) Social dialog essential to placate tensions in Wamena, Papua: Indef

7) An Uprising in West Papua


1) Deadly rioting flares up again in Indonesia's Papua

Fresh rioting in the province has left more than 30 dead as police pull bodies from the wreckage of buildings burned down by protesters. The uprising began with rumors that a teacher insulted an indigenous student.
Thirty-two civilians, mostly non-Papuans, were killed when a new round of riots broke out in the Indonesia province of Papua on Monday.
Rioters set fire to government buildings and shops. Papua police say they pulled twelve more bodies from the wreckage on Tuesday, bringing the death toll to 32. That number is expected to go up as the authorities search the area. A further 72 people were hospitalized for burns and head injuries.
Hundreds of people in the city of Wamena joined the violent protest after a rumor spread that a teacher had insulted an indigenous student.
A separate confrontation between student protesters and security forces in coastal Jayapura, 250 kilometers north-west of Wamena, left four dead on Monday.
Police React
National Police Chief Tito Karnavian said in a news conference that the government had deployed more soldiers and police, who were able to neutralize the situation on Tuesday. He said the majority of the victims were not indigenous to Papua.

"They were shopkeepers, restaurant attendants and motorcycle taxi drivers," he told journalists.
The police chief accused Papuan separatist groups of organizing the riots to draw attention to the province as the United Nations General Assembly meets this week in New York City.
Sebby Sambom, spokesman for the West Papua National Liberation Army, the military branch of the Free Papua Movement, rejected the claim.
"We have not taken a stand in this people's protest over racism against indigenous Papuans. This is purely an action carried out by the entire society," he said in a statement.
Cultural Differences
The violence comes just weeks after protests in the mountainous jungle province left at least five dead. That rioting began after native Papuan students on the Indonesian island of Java felt they had been abused by racist security forces.
Papuans have a culture distinct from that of Indonesia's Muslim majority. The region has been part of Indonesia since 1969, following a U.N.-sponsored vote that is widely considered a sham. Tensions and flare-ups out of the province have been common ever since.
The riot coincides with a series of nationwide demonstrations protesting conservative changes to Indonesia's criminal code. Those protests have also been met with military force, including water cannons and tear gas. 
kp/rc (AP, DPA)


2) ULMWP Chair: Urgent United Nations and Pacific Islands Forum intervention needed to prevent more massacres in West Papua

September 24, 2019 in News
Twenty-nineteen is becoming the worst year in nearly six decades of illegal Indonesian occupation. Massacres and violence are being carried out as a direct result of the additional 16,000 Indonesian troops deployed since August. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights must visit West Papua now, and the Pacific Islands Forum must help secure this.
This year marks a new phase of Indonesian State brutality against the people of West Papua. Indonesia has aimed for the total elimination our peaceful struggle for self-determination, and is imprisoning and killing our children, high school teenagers and university students to do it.
At the beginning of the uprising on August 15, a seven-year old child was arrested by Indonesian police. On September 3, a West Papuan woman, Sister Mandabayan, was arrested for transporting small home-made Morning Star flags, forced to leave her one- and three-year-old children behind. Last week, a one-year old baby and a ten year old Papuan boy were killed by the Indonesian State. Yesterday in Wamena, Indonesian occupation forces fired into a crowd of high school students who were protesting yet another act of colonial racism directed against them by an Indonesian teacher. In Jayapura, students occupying the University of Cendrawasih were killed by the Indonesian military, police and intelligence services, backed up by Indonesian nationalist militias.
In Nduga, dozens of children and infants have died during Indonesian military operations that have displaced around 40,000 Papuans. Parts of Nduga have become ghost towns, with schools empty, churches burned and the Papuan people forced into the jungle. Hundreds of children remain in makeshift schools far from their homes, unsure if their villages will even still exist when they return. Indonesia is criminalising, attacking and killing the children of West Papua in order to maintain its brutal occupation of our land.
This year, West Papua is becoming the next East Timor. The 1991 Santa Cruz Massacre is being repeated in our land right now. The 16,000 additional Indonesian troops deployed to my home land are not their to protect my people – they are there to use violence, harassment and intimidation to maintain Indonesian control over the territory. West Papuans are risking their lives just to utter the words ‘referendum’, ‘self-determination’ and ‘independence’, words of freedom.
This is the time for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit West Papua, in line with the Pacific Islands Forum communique released on August 16 this year. I’m calling on President Widodo to allow the UN High Commissioner in. The time for this visit it now: no more delays. The crisis is taking place as you read this.
I send my deepest sympathies to the families who suffered losses yesterday, and across the past month and year. My people back home, you are showing great courage and sacrifice for the cause of justice and peace. The ULMWP is working tirelessly night and day with Pacific and Melanesian leaders, particularly the government of Vanuatu, to bring our struggle to the world’s attention, and we are making great progress. Our victory will come; justice will prevail. Let us unite to fight peacefully for freedom and liberation for all, including the many West Papuan generations to come.
God bless you all.
Benny Wenda
United Liberation Movement for West Papua


3) Indonesia: Death toll mounts after new West Papua clashes

President Jokowi warns against spread of a 'hoax' that triggered latest violence in the region, killing 32 people.

by Febriana Firdaus  9 hours ago

The death toll resulting from the latest violent protests in Indonesia's West Papua region has risen to 32, as President Joko Widodo appealed against the spread of fake news that provoked the clashes.
Ahmad Kamal, police spokesman in Papua province, told Al Jazeera on Tuesday that 28 demonstrators were now confirmed killed, and 66 others injured during the protest on Monday in the city of Wamena.
That brings the death toll to 32 including the three demonstrators and one military officer, who were confirmed killed on Monday in Jayapura, Papua's capital city.
Late on Monday, the president, also known as Jokowi, appealed to residents of West Papua "not to be provoked by a hoax", the common term used in Indonesia to refer to fake news.
Jokowi also appealed to the demonstrators not to destroy government properties, following reports of damage to public and private properties in Wamena.
Meanwhile, Indonesia's national news agency, Antara, confirmed  on Tuesday that "no less than 16 non-native Papuans and one native Papuan resident" were killed in Wamena, while 66 others were injured "by the rioters brandishing machetes and arrows".
Lt Col Candra Dianto, a military district commander in Wamena, told Antara that those who were injured were rushed to the local hospital for medical treatment.
Candra was also quoted by Antara as saying that a "gun battle" erupted between Indonesian security personnel and a group of "armed separatists" in Wamena on Monday, leading to the deaths.
"Military and police personnel will trace and evacuate other students that may have still been trapped in their houses, and kiosks that the brutal rioters had set ablaze when they run amok," Antara reported.
There have been reports that as many 4,000 people have been forced to evacuate due to the latest clashes. Al Jazeera could not independently confirm the report at time of publication.

'Fake news'

Kamal, the police spokesman in Papua province, said in an interview with Al Jazeera that Monday's clashes were triggered by "fake news" claiming that a teacher in a Wamena school, called SMA PGRI Wamena, used racial slurs against a student.
The rumour quickly spread through SMS message, angering other students across the city of Wamena. 
"We are now looking for the student who first spread the message, we want to ask for a clarification," Kamal said.
Kamal said that some civilians in Wamena had fled their homes and sought shelter at local police and military stations, as well as the local legislative building, for fear of getting caught in the violence.
Kamal, however, insisted that they had not received any reports of demonstrators suffering from gunshot wounds.
But Yance Wetipo, 18, a student in Wamena told Al Jazeera, said he witnessed one of the students getting shot.
"I saw with my own eyes, the students were throwing rocks. The police looked confused and panicky, and they fired tear gas to the right and left direction of the protesters, then one of my friends was shot in his chest," he said.

'Spontaneous movement'

Kamal said police were looking into reports that some of the demonstrators were from the National Committee for West Papua (KNPB) - the largest indigenous youth group that pushed for independence.
The group has been a frequent target of police operations.
Ones Suhuniap, the KNPB’s spokesman, however, denied the allegations, saying the group had never issued any instructions to take any action.
"The anti-racism demonstration in Papua was spontaneously organised movement by the Papuans," Ones said in a statement sent to Al Jazeera.
Indonesia's West Papua is the poorest region in the country. It was a Dutch colony until the early 1960s when Indonesia took control, cementing its rule with a controversial referendum.
The government in Jakarta maintains that the region, which occupies the western half of the island of Papua New Guinea, is part of the country because it was under the Dutch East Indies, which forms the basis of the country's modern-day borders.
A low-level armed rebellion by indigenous Papuans has been rumbling for years against the central government in Jakarta.
In December, violence also erupted, killing 17 people, prompting a military crackdown that forced 35,000 civilians to evacuate.
Since the latest round of violence that erupted in mid-August, several people have been killed during protests in Jayapura.
Since then, the government has deployed thousands of troops to the region and arrested activists to quell the protests.


4) Indonesia urges against Papua unrest amid pro-freedom protests

At least 30 people were killed and dozens injured on Monday when protesters set fire to government buildings, shops and homes.

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