Rev. Socratez Yoman: Papua Needs Political Dialogue


Jayapura, Jubi – The chairman of the Fellowship of Baptist Churches in Papua, Rev. Socratez Sofyan Yoman, condemned recent violence, including the shooting of four civilians in Serui on 1 December, a man in Keerom on 20 December and the killings of police officers in Sinak on 26 December 2015.

“The Church is very concerned about these acts of violence. They are misbehavior, acts of terrorists, criminal and barbaric. We must condemn it. They must stop this barbaric act,” he said at Papua Baptist Synod Office in Abepura, Jayapura City, Papua on Saturday (2/1/2015).

He said the shooting during the month of December has become common since the murder of Kelly Kwalik in Timika on 16 December 2009 that following by the murder of Hubertus Mabel in Wamena on 16 December 2012 and the murder of four high school students in Paniai on 8 December 2014, and the recent shooting incidents during December 2015.

“Security personnel opened fire without any particular reasons. It was said the victims were shot when trying to fight the officers or the officers did to protect themselves for being attacked. Or for a political reason, the victims were accused of a part of the Free Papua Movement (OPM),” he said.

Even if the authorities have a reason, Yoman said, anyone could not justify for murder for what any reason.


“The death of human is the authority of God or because of being old,” said this Papuan figure who has written 15 books of Papuan history and struggle.

There are two purposes, said Yoman, in the two last years. The murders were occurred before the president’s visit to Papua. The murder over four high school students in Paniai was occurred before the President Joko Widodo’s visit to Papua to attend the National Christmas Event in Jayapura on 27 December 2014 and ahead his visit to Merauke, Wamena and Raja Ampat in 2015.

From here, he said, it clearly indicated a project of security management. He firmly said the state apparatus clearly take profit behind the reason of security and personnel deployment.

“If not manage such situation, there is no project. So where would they take money?” said Yoman.

The shooting, he said, was part of intelligent operations.

He said, the State wants to provoke reaction and justify Papuans and stigmatize Papuans as criminal, separatist and cruel after the counterattack along December.

“They want to say, ‘look the riots in Papua ahead the Christmas. They (security forces) want Papuans to give their reaction for give them a reaction in turn. They want the conflict grow bigger, but the murder could be done during December to eliminate any reactions,” he said.

Actually, the murder is no more that a mechanism or process to destroy the Melanesian ethnic in Papua, because the State want to take over the land and natural resources in Papua. “The State does not need the Papuans,” he said.

Earlier, the Coordinator of Solidarity for Human Rights Violation Victims Papua, Peneas Lokbere said the State’s violence that was occurred during December 2015 could not be separated from State’s previous violence. “The State is still judging Papuans as separatist, criminal in order to justify the murder perpetrated by state apparatus,” he said.

Lokbere further said it is made Papuans never proud to be part of Indonesia. Papuans are not comfort and enjoy their life as part of Indonesia since the forced integration in 1969.

“Papuans are not considered important and valuable, therefore they could shot them as they like. It is clearer that mostly those who shot the civilians never take on legal process seriously,” he said while citing the shooting of four high school students in Paniai 2014 that was occurred in front of eyewitnesses in the midday.

No wonder if the Rev. Yoman said a political dialogue is required because there is no other way to solve the problems in Papua. The problems in Papua are very complex; it was not only about the economic welfare, money, regional extension and infrastructure development, “Papuans do not need any of it. Papuans needs a political dialogue approach. Papuans and the Indonesian Government must sit together and be equal in a dialogue facilitated by a neutral third party,” he said.

He said, the third party could be a state, non-state (churches, NGOs and regional organizations) and a public figure. “Melanesian Spearhead Group and Pacific Island Forum could be a mediator of dialogue,” he said. (Mawel Benny/rom)

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