Jayapura, Jubi – Yahukimo Regent Abock Busup said that Dekai City, the capital of Yahukimo District, is one of the entrances for miners to get to the mining site in Kawe Village, Awimbon Sub-district of Pegunungan Bintang District, Papua Province.
“The local government of Pegunungan Bintang allows the mining activity in Kawe Village. However, those miners come through Dekai,” said Busup in Jayapura last week.
According to him, the access from Dekai to Kawe Village can be reached in about twenty minutes by land transport and aeroplane. This easy access has made the miners from other regions in Papua or even from outside of Papua tends to choose Dekai as the entry point to the mine site.
“The migrant miners fly to Dekai before continuing their journey to Kawe Village by land transport,” he said.
However, the gold mine is not only existed in Pegunungan Bintang, but also in Yahukimo District, which forced an indigenous group joined in IS-UKAM (The Association of Una, Kopkaka, Arumtap, Arupkor, Mamkot and Momuna tribes) who urge the determination of mining activities in this area.
The Secretary of IS-UKAM Timeus Aruman said the mining companies in this area are suspected to bringing in many workers from other islands of Indonesia, namely Java, Sulawesi, Sumatra and Kalimantan.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Una-Ukam Tribe Yakobus Kisamlu similarly said his community has refused the illegal mining and stated that two gold minings in Kawe Village of Awimbon Sub-district of Pegunungan Bintang District and Yahowimo Village of Suntamon Sub-district are prohibited, and UKAM community as the owner of land rights reject the mining companies.
The Determination of People’s Mine Site
Abock Busup also said that he was trying to close the people’s mine site in his region. However, he further said the closure of this mine site needs further study and analysis. The government also needs to listen to suggestions and inputs from many stakeholders to find out the benefits and drawbacks of a gold mine site in this area.
‘If there is a dispute or victims, who will be responsible? So, this needs to be reviewed, a prior study before establishing a regulation to address these problems,” he said.
The local parliament, according to him, has formed a Special Committee (Pansus) and sent a letter asking the owners of five helicopters that had been carrying the miners into the mining area to stop the operations of their helicopters.
“On 17 September 2018, we have sent a letter to ask the helicopters to keep staying in Yahukimo,” he said.
It’s to avoid conflict because the local community might suspect the helicopters are used to transport people to the mining location. “If there is a conflict, people will accuse it as human rights violations, or they will accuse the government of not paying attention and many other reasons even though the government was already strict,” he said.
The location of people’s mine site in Yahukimo, he said, is in Seredala Sub-district. It takes 30 minutes by land from Dekai, the capital of Yahukimo District. “Indeed, up to now the (mining) activities continue to run, but they have been reduced,” he said.
Meanwhile, Papua Governor Lukas Enembe recently also stated that he refused illegal mining in Papua because it damages the nature of Papua. “From now on there will be no illegal activities in Papua because Papua is now under the supervision of the United Nations (UN),” said Enembe.
Moreover, the governor said the Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) keeps a letter from the UN to protect the forests and land of Papua. “The point is that there should be no illegal activities including illegal fishing, illegal logging and illegal mining as well. All those activities should be banned on Papua’s land,” he said. (*).
Reporter: Arjuna Pademme
Editor: Pipit Maizier