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Creating positive peace in Papua

Positive peace in Papua

Jakarta (ANTARA) – The atmosphere in the eastern tip of Indonesia, precisely in Bumi Cenderawasih, Papua, cannot be separated from several cases of conflict and violence.

Since Papua entered into Indonesian territory through UN Resolution Number 2504 of 1969 after the establishment of the Popular Opinion (Pepera), the conflict has seemed to be a friend who does not want to separate in Papua. These conflicts were generally instigated by individuals who were dissatisfied because Papua had entered Indonesian territory, then went on to fight against the country with the flag of the Free Papua Organization (OPM).

The OPM is not a single organization, but there are many factions of the separatist movement that basically want to be independent from the territory of the Republic of Indonesia.

This separatist movement uses all means, both physical and non-physical, to create its own state that is separate from Indonesia. Their existence even existed before the Act, when the New York Agreement resulted in an agreement that the transitional government in Papua after the Dutch left would be granted to the Indonesian government no later than 1963.

For this reason, efforts to create peace in Papua continue, including learning the Positive Peace theory from Johan Galtung.

History of Conflict in Papua

Even though there are quite a lot of conflicts, including armed conflict in Papua, here are some events that can be summarized to tell the history of the conflict on the Earth of Cenderawasih. OPM armed resistance broke out for the first time on 26 July 1965 in Manokwari.

According to the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC) report entitled “The Current Status of The Papuan Pro-Independence Movement”, Freeport’s mining activities in 1973 triggered OPM military activity in the Timika area (Widadio & Latief, 2019). In May 1977, around 200 OPM guerrillas attacked Freeport and responded with military operations, especially in Amungme Village.

The Freeport area used to be the customary land of the Amungme and Komoro tribes who are the original inhabitants of the area.

Executive Director of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Markus Haluk in the book “Suing Freeport” stated that 60 Amungme tribesmen were victims of military violence in the incident. Other cases also appear frequently. For example, the Wasior case in 2001 and the Wamena case in 2003 were again caused by conflicts between the authorities and local residents.

The separatist movement, which is now synonymous with the term armed criminal group, has accused the government (security forces) of committing human rights violations. In fact, their actions were treason against national law, aka against Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution.

Furthermore, a wave of violence that occurred around the end of 2019 resulted in eight civilians being killed in Deiyai ​​during the riots on August 28, 2019. Then, another riot occurred on September 26, 2019 which resulted in 33 people being killed in Wamena and four people dying in Jayapura.

Another tragic tragedy occurred on December 2, 2018 in which 31 workers of the Trans Papua highway project were shot dead in the Nduga region by a Papuan armed group led by Egianus Kogoya (Widadio & Latief, 2019).

The incident was answered by military operations in the Nduga region. Amnesty International Indonesia recorded that 182 Nduga civilians died while on the run after their village was visited by security forces who were hunting for the Egianus group.

The separatist movement accuses the security forces of causing civilians to lose their lives, even though their job is to catch the security intruders. It is precisely Papuan pro-independence figures, who are suspected of being the mastermind behind the riots in Bumi Cendrawasih.

Positive Peace

How many facts of the violence are, of course, still very little when compared to the reality of cases of conflict and violence that have occurred in Papua so far. For that, we must learn how to prevent these conflicts from recurring. Why is preventing, not better, eliminating conflict? Conflict cannot be eliminated. It will always exist in every human civilization, and will never be finished.

Human existence is very dependent on its ability to manage conflict. To be able to manage, to resolve conflicts, the focus of attention must be focused on analyzing human behavior and the environment (Indrawan, 2019).

Before learning how to achieve positive peace in Papua, let us first look at what is known as violence. Why do we need to understand violence? This is because in general, conflict and violence are equal to three dollars, aka almost always go hand in hand. In fact, violence is not always synonymous with physicality. For this reason, there are three types of violence, namely direct, structural, and cultural violence.

Peace Studies expert Johan Galtung said peace is a condition without violence that is not only personal or direct, but also structural or indirect. Galtung emphasized that peaceful conditions are conditions without violence and social injustice in society. He also mentioned that there are two definitions of peace, namely negative peace and positive peace.

Negative peace is characterized by the absence of conflict between the two or more parties trying to achieve their respective interests, the absence of asymmetry of fear, and no conflict of interests.

Then, positive peace is marked by the existence of a non-coercive conflict resolution tool to prevent conflicts from arising. This includes the absence of conditions that oppress or torment humans, covering a very wide spectrum of conditions, ensuring external (security from violence and hunger) and internal (Galtung, 1996) needs.

Therefore, Loreta Castro argues that in a positive peaceful condition, there must be good and fair relations in all aspects of life, socially, economically, politically and ecologically. Thus, structural violence such as poverty and hunger, socio-cultural violence such as racism, sexism, and religious intolerance, or ecological violence, such as destruction of nature, pollution, and excessive consumption, disappear (Castro & Galace, 2010).

It is this positive peaceful condition that must be endeavored after achieving negative peace, namely in the absence of direct or physical violence, both macro and micro, such as war, torture, and violence against children and women.

However, even if there is no direct violence the existence of existing structural violence (negative peace) can also result in conflict re-lapse and peace being disturbed (Webel and Galtung, 2007). That is why the positive peaceful conditions in Papua must be maintained by all the nation’s children.

In conclusion, by bringing Papua to a positive peaceful direction, violence of any kind will not happen again. Conflict can occur because it is part of the human life cycle. It is violence that must be eliminated so that positive peaceful conditions can be realized.

How wonderful it would be if positive peaceful conditions could occur in Papua. On that basis, we must learn to prevent conflict from developing into violence. All parties are willing to become water that extinguishes the embers of conflict.

*) Heddy Lugito, senior journalist, former Secretary General of the Central Press Company Union (SPS).

Positive peace in Papua

West Papua View All

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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