Monday, 12 Rabiul Akhir 1441 / 09 December 2019

Monday, 12 Rabiul Akhir 1441 / 09 December 2019

Moeldoko believes certain groups behind riots in Papua

Kamis 22 Aug 2019 17:25 WIB

Rep: Puti Almas/ Red: Nur Aini

Papuans hold a protest in Kabupaten Nabire, Papua, Kamis (22/8/2019).

Papuans hold a protest in Kabupaten Nabire, Papua, Kamis (22/8/2019).

Foto: antara/Arys
Moeldoko said OPM and political groups had take advantage from the riots.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA —  Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko said there were certain groups that took advantage of ethnicity, religion, race, and inter-group relations (SARA) issue against Papuan students. He said the act of racims that happened against Papuan students in East Java led demonstrations and riots in a number of cities in Papua and West Papua. 

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“The Free Papua Movement (OPM) and a number of groups, including political groups had take advantage,” said Moeldoko on Thursday (August 22). 

He explained the riots ridden by certain groups in Papua, in order to make the development to be hampered there. In fact, the development in Papua has been carried out by government to improve the welfare of the local community.

“Why? Because if Papua has developed, they have no reason to ’sell’ it overseas,” Moeldoko added. 

Moeldoko said if the welfare of Papuan people has increased, the level of influence of armed groups on the community would be reduced. He stressed likewise with respect to political pivot groups. 

“Once they see Papua progress, there is no reason to sell that Papuan people are marginalized," Moeldoko added.

However, Moeldoko said the regional leaders in Papua and West Papua were able to handle the situation, so the riots could be suppressed. He also appreciated the level of awareness of Papuan people who did not want the riots to be worsen.

Riots broke out in a number of regions in West Papua, started from Manokwari, Sorong, and Papua’s capital of Jayapura on last Monday (August 19). The local people comprising protested against the recent case of racial abuse of Papuan students in East Java. 

The protesters also blocked a number of major streets in the city and also cutting down trees to be used as barricades. West Papua Regional Legislative Council building in the city was also set on fire and tires were burned on the roads.

The protests then spreaded to other cities in Papua, namely Sorong, South Sorong, Merauke, Fakfak, and Biak on Tuesday (August 20). People in those regions called for an end to the racist abuse of Papuans. 

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