Tuesday, October 1, 2019

1) Indonesia's Joko Widodo open to meeting Papuan pro-independence groups

1) Indonesia's Joko Widodo open to meeting Papuan pro-independence groups
2) More troops needed in Puncak to secure residents 
3) Wamena riot survivors urged to not join exodus
4) Thousands Pack Air Force Base in Wamena Following Riots 

1) Indonesia's Joko Widodo open to meeting Papuan pro-independence groups

Indonesia's President Joko Widodo has offered to meet with Papuan pro-independence groups, just days after his security minister ruled out talks.
On Tuesday, Mr Widodo told reporters "yes, there is no problem", when asked if he was prepared to meet activists demanding an independence referendum.
Indonesia's easternmost provinces of Papua and West Papua have been engulfed in weeks of unrest, culminating with 37 deaths last Monday and Tuesday.

But some observers are skeptical at Mr Widodo's latest statement.
Andreas Harsano of Human Rights Watch told SBS News, "the journalist did not mention any organisation. He just asked not only if he's willing to meet pro-Indonesia Papuans but pro-referendum Papuans".
"And he said yes, 'I'm willing to meet anyone who would like to see me'. I'm really not sure whether Jokowi understood the context of that question."

Mr Harsano also said Mr Widodo's security minister Wiranto, who had ruled out such talks, may not be part of a new cabinet.
"The president will have his new cabinet in 20 days, maybe General Wiranto will not be there, I don't know, maybe yes, maybe no."
West Papuan independence activist Ronny Kareni said the demands of activists are clear. 
"If Jokowi is genuine about these comments, he needs to immediately without exception withdraw all the troops deployed in the last month and allow the human rights groups and the media to go in and have access".
And fellow activist Victor Yeimo of the West Papua National Committee said there will be more bloodshed until there is an independence referendum.
"[The conflict will continue] as long as West Papuans do not have space to determine their status under international law.
"We want West Papuan political conflict to be resolved through peaceful, democratic and [a] final resolution, so we will come if Jokowi starts to take a political will."

Evacuations have been ongoing in recent days for more than 7,000 mostly Indonesian migrants who have been displaced in the central highlands town of Wamena, following one of the bloodiest days for the region in 20 years.
But Mr Yeimo accused the military of racial discrimination in how it is carrying out the evacuations.
"All the Papuans people are hiding close to Wamena ... out in the countryside. [The military] is helping the non-Papuans but not West Papuans."
On Monday and Tuesday last week, 33 people including one soldier died and scores were hurt during clashes there, with Indonesian security forces accused of using live ammunition to disperse a high school anti-racism rally.

Mr Widodo tweeted his "deep sorrow" at the deaths and said it was "not an ethnic conflict" but an attack by an armed criminal group who was also responsible for burning residents' houses.
Four others were killed in clashes last Monday in the city of Jayapura.
Resource-rich Papua, which shares the island of New Guinea with the nation of Papua New Guinea, was a Dutch colony that was incorporated into Indonesia after a controversial UN-backed referendum in 1969.
The region has since endured decades of mostly low-level separatist conflict.
Additional reporting: Reuters
2) More troops needed in Puncak to secure residents 
 5 hours ago
Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - More troops would be requested for areas in Puncak District in response to the ongoing campaign by armed Papuan separatist groups to kill innocent civilians, District Head Willem Wandik said.  

"I will call for more troops to respond to the shootings of civilians," he told ANTARA here Tuesday.

In addition to more troops, the local authorities also kept communication lines open with various parties, including those from the armed separatist groups, to convince them to stop attacking civilians, Wandik said.

Maintaining the communication channels with the local community and religious leaders was also needed as part of the district government's endeavor to create peace for all, he said.

Asked about the wish of several community members to take refuge due to security reasons, Wandik said the residents need to remain calm because security personnel have been attempting to protect them.

Over the past few weeks, the armed Papuan rebels have been publicizing their acts of violence.

On September 17, in a gun battle between Indonesian troops and armed Papuan separatists in Olenki Village, Mabugi Subdistrict, Puncak District, Papua Province, three civilians were killed and five others wounded.

Four of the five villagers who suffered gunshot wounds were identified as Topina Mom (36), Tabuni (37), Herina Kinal (32), and Yefrina Mom (16) while the other was a man who sustained injuries to his right leg.

In connection with the firing in Olenki village, the armed rebels often use villagers as human shields, Puncak District Head Willem Wandik said earlier.

Three civilians were killed in the firing. They are Tekiman Wonda (33) and two infants who have been identified as Edison Mom and Rudi Mom.

The Papuan separatists have become a tangible threat to both Indonesian security personnel and innocent civilians because they have continued to target the latter.

On September 26, an armed Papuan separatist group gunned down two motorcycle taxi (Ojek) drivers near the Muara suspension bridge in Amnunggi Village, Ilaga Sub-district, Puncak, Papua.

The two Ojek drivers, identified as La Ode Alwi and Midung, were gunned down by the rebels while passing by the area at around 12:30 p.m. local time, the Papua provincial police spokesman, Sen. Coms. Ahmad Kamal said.

In the past year, the separatists have not only conducted a spate of killings of civilians and security personnel but they have also been involved in other grave crimes, including holding civilians hostage and raping their victims. (INE)
Related news: Papua police arrest Rambo Wonda of outlawed armed group

Reporter: Evarukdijati, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
3) Wamena riot survivors urged to not join exodus
  5 hours ago
Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - The Papua provincial administration has called on South Sulawesi residents who survived the deadly Wamena riot not to join the mass exodus but to keep living side-by-side with the native Papuans in Jayawijaya District.  

The appeal was echoed, Tuesday, by Assistant of the Papua Provincial Government's Regional Secretary for Economic and Social Welfare Affairs, Muhammad Musaad, following a meeting between the Papua governor and South Sulawesi's deputy governor here Monday.

"All Indonesians, including those from South Sulawesi, have the right to live in Papua as an integrated part of Indonesia," he said, adding that Papua Governor Lukas Enembe expressed his deepest condolences over the deaths of 33 residents in the Wamena rioting.

In ensuring the safety of all Wamena residents, including those from South Sulawesi, Enembe has vowed to coordinate with various related parties, particularly the law enforcement and security agencies, Musaad said.

Enembe received South Sulawesi's Deputy Governor Andi Sudirman and the South Sulawesi Provincial Administration's Secretary Abdul Hayat, Monday evening.

At the meeting, Enembe called on the survivors of the Wamena rioting not to join a mass exodus but to remain in the city.

Those attending the meeting were also told about the survivors' confessions which then became heartrending stories of the heroic efforts from many native Papuans in Wamena to save the lives of their neighbors from the killers.

Referring to the confessions of these survivors, including those from South Sulawesi, it was concluded that the rioters were not from Wamena, Musaad said.

"At the meeting, the South Sulawesi deputy governor also handed over a humanitarian fund totaling Rp1 billion to the Jayawijaya district administration to help ease the local government's financial burden and assist the affected community members," he said.

Sudirman urged Enembe to support the efforts to rebuild the residents' houses and kiosks burned down or destroyed by the rioters.

Deadly riots broke out in Wamena during a rally that native Papuan students had staged on September 23.

A total of 33 people, including a medical doctor, were killed, while at least 77 others sustained injuries in the riot that also compelled several thousand residents, mostly non-native Papuans, to take shelter in the local military and police compounds.

The dead and wounded comprised non-native Papuans, who were assaulted by rioters brandishing machetes and arrows. Many of them had migrated to Papua from their hometowns in provinces, such as West Sumatra and South Sulawesi, to earn a living. (INE)
Related news: Papua police chief appeals to refugees to return to Wamena
Related news: Transportation ministry prepares ships to evacuate Wamena's refugees

Reporter: Hendrina DK, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
4) Thousands Pack Air Force Base in Wamena Following Riots 
Translator: Ricky Mohammad Nugraha Editor: Laila Afifa 
1 October 2019 19:58 WIB
TEMPO.COJakarta - A long queue consisting of thousands of refugees have formed at the Wamena Military Air Force base waiting to be evacuated from Jayawijaya District on Tuesday, October 1. The Hercules airplane on standby is set to fly the refugees to areas such as Jayapura and Timika.
Based on Tempo’s observation, the Air Force prioritizes children, women, and those with illnesses to be boarded onto the airplane first. 
According to the Wamena Air Force Detachment Commander Arief Sudjatmiko, the Indonesian military (TNI) today has evacuated 1,826 refugees from the region. Ever since the deadly riots broke, the military has evacuated a total of 6,472 people. 
Testimony from these refugees asserts that the riots had scarred a deep sense of trauma within the people of Wamena and they have decided to join others in taking temporary refuge in regions outside of the region. Others also called for the National Police and Armed Forces (TNI) to guarantee their safety there in the future. 
The 172 Wamena Military Command’s Commander, Colonel Infantry Yonathan Sianipar hopes that people would not leave the region and that the mass evacuations are what the actual intentions of the armed groups responsible for the deadly riots and attacks across the region. 

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