West Papua No.1 News Portal | Jubi
Jayapura, Jubi – The escalation of armed conflict in Intan Jaya Regency and the tension in Puncak and Nduga regencies have displaced thousands of people for years in West Papua, prompting some figures to push for the Indonesian government to step up efforts to bring peace to Papuan people.
A councilor in Papua Legislative Council, Emus Gwijangge, suggested the government to open a dialogue with the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB), the armed group affiliated to the Free Papua Organization (OPM) movement to minimize the conflicts.
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“How about the central government sit together, have a dialogue with TPNPB, OPM and United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) and others that had declared they were fighting for West Papua independence, so the situation will not continue like this,” he said on Feb. 23, 2021.
He said when the conflicts went on, the victims were the civilians.
“Those who hold the guns are TPNPB and Indonesia’s security personnel. The government should have the courage to open the space, ask them, what do they want? If it continues like this, civilians will fall victims again and it will disrupt the development in Papua,” Gwijangge said.
He argued that whatever the provincial administration and legislative council did, it would be meaningless if they did not have any support from Jakarta.
“If you can have a dialogue with Aceh, why not with Papua. Don’t just get busy talking about continuing special autonomy and new provinces. Resolve the root problems in Papua. I think [Free Papua movement] will be willing to sit together to find a solution,” he said.
A human rights activist, Theo Hesegem, said the government had to do something to end the armed conflicts. He said armed conflicts had emerged in several regions but he had not seen any effort from the central government to end the bloody conflicts.
“They need to be more serious. The central government must hold responsibility for the conflicts and not just let stakeholders in Papua province handle it. That’s wrong,” he said on Feb. 22, 2021.
Hesegem said the most pressing problem was ideological differences between Jakarta and Papua.
He criticized the central government’s move to add more security personnel to Papua, under the pretext of providing more security. He said it would instead create a new security problem.
“The solution has to be a dialogue, facilitated by independent third party,” he said.
Reporter: Arjuna Pardemme
Editor: Edho Sinaga, Evi Mariani