Jayawijaya Regent, Jhon R Banua when he saw the condition of the houses damaged by the conflict. -Jubi/Islami

‘Tribal war’ only harms Indigenous Papuans: Tribal Council


Jayapura, Jubi – Conflicts and disputes between groups of Indigenous Papuans, which are often claimed as “tribal wars”, cannot be justified on the grounds of customs or culture because they actually harm Indigenous Papuans and often prolong the problem, said the Facilitator of the Joint Secretariat of the Papuan Tribal Customary Council Rev. Deserius Adii on Saturday, January 15, 2021.

Adii stated that tribal wars were activities carried out by Indigenous Papuans long before they knew religion and positive law. “Now is not the time for Papuans to kill and attack. Tribal wars can also [be misused as] ethnic and tribal extermination in the Land of Papua,” Adii reminded.

Adii said that clashes between groups of Indigenous Papuans repeatedly occurred in Kwamki, a settlement of seven Indigenous Papuan tribes in Timika, the capital of Mimika Regency.

In fact, conflicts in the name of ethnic groups or clans only harm Indigenous Papuans. “Papuans must realize that tribal wars are not a positive way to solve problems. In fact, war will give birth to new problems,” he said.

Adii said the council continued to fight against the perspective that tribal wars were the customs and culture of Indigenous Papuans. “Because through such a language, people are killed. The positive law should be enforced instead of the law of retaliation,” he said.


Adii also criticized law enforcement officers for failing to firmly enforce Indonesian laws to prevent the spread of conflict between groups of Indigenous Papuans.

Adii reminded every member of the community that violence and killings violated God’s law. “In a civil war or tribal war, who loses, cries, mourns after we fight? We are the ones who cry, we are the ones who grieve. Remember your roots as an Indigenous child,” he said.

Adii said that the clashes between groups of Indigenous Papuans that occurred in the Puncak Regency and Jayawijaya Regency had caused great losses for Indigenous Papuans. Houses were burned, children were unable to go to school, people could not worship, people lived in fear and trauma, and dozens of people died or were injured.

“We as traditional leaders call on Indigenous Peoples to consciously keep the peace within the community. There should be no more victims in civil or tribal conflicts,” Adii added.

Adii also asked law enforcement officers to strictly prohibit people from carrying traditional weapons. “We ask for strict vigilance at the airport. Do not allow people to carry bows and arrows. We reject social conflicts to be resolved by means of retaliation that can cost dozens of people’s lives. It is hoped that law enforcers will enforce positive laws,” he said.

Representative of the Jayawijaya Student Association Imanus Komba also hopes that conflicts between groups of Indigenous Papuans will not repeat themselves. “As Papuans, we need to work together to maintain peace in the Land of Papua. Problems must be resolved with a mindset that looks further ahead,” he said. (*)

Reporter: Hengky Yeimo
Editor: Aryo Wisanggeni G

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