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Indonesia’s Policy on Papua and West Papua

Papua and West Papua are two most eastern provinces of Indonesia, which experience challenges from separatism. Since the reform movement in 1998, Indonesia has carried out serious reforms from Jakarta to all provinces, including Papua and West Papua. The special autonomy law of 2001 was an effort to solve the problem and to push sustainable peace in the region. Indonesia under the leadership of Joko Widodo continuously asking and addressing the Papuan indigenous people’s demands.

Government partnership with civil society is very often occur during public consultation. The existing trust between central government, Papuan local governments, civil societies and also ordinary Papuan increased dramatically. However, small number of people in the name of separatism instigate conflict from time to time. They use every problem in region as reason for separatism.

Indonesia democratically govern the region by introducing local elections with the support of the local people. West Papua’s large young population may confuse with separatist campaign in one side and nationalism campaign on the other side. The improvement of education system, better education opportunities are key drivers for better understanding among young Papuan.

Jokowi is still striving to restore Papua people’s trust in the government through various economic and infrastructure developments, however terror and violent attack by separatist groups has made this efforts slower. Separatist groups has put all good intention of Papuan local government supported by Jakarta in jeopardy. Security threat by separatist groups has invited the policy of using security approach in Papua. Quoted from Republika: “Defending the integration of all part in Indonesia is a Indonesia’s government rights to be done. Furthermore, the Papua integration to Indonesia is a legal movement and an international communities had been supported it”.

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This Blog has gone through many obstacles and attacks from violent Free West Papua separatist supporters and ultra nationalist Indonesian since 2007. However, it has remained throughout a time devouring thoughts of how to bring peace to Papua and West Papua provinces of Indonesia.

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