Manokwari, Jubi – The West Papuan People’s Assembly (MRPB) will facilitate a meeting between the West Papua Administration, customary landowners, and the party who takes part in the allegedly illegal gold mining activities in Wasirawi Village, Masni district, Manokwari Regency.
MRPB Customary Working Group member Anthon Rumbruren said that the effort to bring together the stakeholders to find a joint solution was decided after the MRPB team visited the mining site directly.
“Last Friday, the MRPB team visited the location, and it is true that there was mining activity that was not controlled at all by the government, so it was exploited by illegal investors,” said Rumbruren on Monday, January 17, 2022.
He said that the MRPB team visited the mining site after it received complaints from Indigenous peoples.
“We don’t have any other interest apart from protecting Papuan people and their natural wealth, as is the main task of this cultural institution when receiving complaints,” he said.
Rumbruren also confirmed that more than 30 units of excavators belonging to the allegedly illegal gold miners were seen at the Wariori River dam and used to dredge gold in Wasirawi.
Besides conducting field monitoring, Rumbruren said, the MRPB team also received reports from the community that there were frequent conflicts between mining workers and local residents.
“We also received reports from the people that there were frequent conflicts between illegal miners and the Indigenous peoples owners of the customary land,” he said.
He further hopes that the meeting between the government, ulayat (land) owners, and the mining party in the near future can produce the best solution so that mining activities are better organized under the control of community cooperatives.
“We must encourage Indigenous peoples to enjoy their natural wealth [more] than certain groups who have an interest in these illegal activities,” he said. (*)
Reporter: Hans Kapisa
Editor: Edho Sinaga