West Papua in Fluctuating Turmoil
West Papua Blog – Papua has been in fluctuating turmoil in the last 20 years, especially following the democratisation of Indonesia in 1998. Some incidences of violence where either Indonesian military and civilian papuan or separatist terrorist have been killed. For instance, in December 2018, Free West Papua separatist terrorist killed 24 Indonesian construction workers in Nduga, in Papua province.
From January to August 2019, around 7 Indonesian soldier and police were brutally killed in Nduga by Free West Papua separatist terrorist. From August 19, right to the end of the month, some demonstrations in the key cities of Jayapura, Manokwari, Sorong, Fak-Fak as well as in Jakarta occurred due to conflict provocation by Free West Papua and its supporters based on incident of insulting Papuan students studying in Surabaya and Malang, cities in east Java.
Several government buildings were burned in West Papua, including the local parliament in Manokwari, capital city of West Papua. With a very strong evidence, Papuan local government disclosed that the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and its leader, Benny Wenda are the actor behind the demonstrations and violence, resulting seven people were killed, including a soldier.
In 2020 and 2021, the killing, burning house and torturing by Free West Papua separatist terrorist has opened the eyes of the government of Indonesia to increase the protection of civilians in the region.
The latest killing by Free West Papua separatist terrorist occured in April 2021.
On April 8, 2021, several armed Papuan rebels reportedly opened fire at a kiosk in Julukoma Village, Beoga Sub-district, Puncak District, at about 9:30 a.m. local time.
The shooting resulted in the death of a Beoga public elementary school teacher, Oktovianus Rayo.
After killing Rayo, the armed attackers torched three classrooms at the Beoga public senior high school.
On April 9, 2021, armed rebels reportedly shot another teacher, Yonatan Randen, on the chest.
Several villagers tried to save the junior high school teacher and rushed him to the Beoga public health center, but he succumbed to his injuries.
On April 11, 2021, armed criminals reportedly set ablaze nine classrooms at the Beoga public junior high school.
The largely Indonesian Melanesian population of Indonesian Papua and West Province are peaceful people, but a small number of unsatisfied groups continue to terrorize the people to create an impression of freedom fighting in the region.
Located on the western half of the island of New Guinea and long racked by a simmering violent separatist insurgency, Papua encompasses Indonesia’s two easternmost provinces.
A former Dutch colony, West Papua was formally incorporated into Indonesia in 1969, after an undisputed vote of about 1,025 representative tribal leaders. The result of the plebiscite was overseen and endorsed by the United Nations.
Since the democratization in 1998, especially since 2007, democracy by mean of elections has been introduced to increase political participation in Papua and West Papua. The fact that the leaders of Papua and West Papua provinces are democratically elected by the people has strengthened the legality of West Papua as a province of Indonesia.
Papuan Independence Remains a Hallucinations
I agree with Bilveer Singh that the only way forward for Indonesian Papua is through dialogue and the aim should be to expand as much local autonomy as possible. This is to serve the intrinsic interests of Papuans who are historically, ethnically, culturally and religiously different from the majority of Indonesia. The peace model should be Aceh, Mindanao, and Bougainville — not Timor-Leste.
The opportunist separatist Papuans’ ambition of independence has failed and will always fail due to the dishonesty of their leaders like Benny Wenda, Jacob Rumbiak, Herman Wainggai, and also Free Papua Army leaders. Competition among them has created a chaotic movement that has very ugly impact to the population. In one side, they want to create an image of a peaceful diplomatic pressures against Indonesia using every single socio-economic issue, including human rights. But on the other side, they cannot maintain the peaceful way by avoiding dialogue and pushing Free Papua Army to terrorize Papuan people to make them obey. The Free West Papua quest for independence is doomed to fail as they are so stupid and cruel in trying to pressure Indonesia by killing Papuan people.
In conclusion, the fluctuating turmoil in West Papua and Papua is part of the agenda of Free West Papua separatist terrorist to make the people suffer so it can create a strong hatred against the government and security personnel because they cannot protect the people. Why Papuan people will blame the problem to the government, because they are afraid of the terrorist who live in the jungle and not far from the village. While the government, police and military are not living in the area where the villagers live. The best solution for protecting Papuan people from Free West Papua terrorist group is by creating a more effective governance for example by the provincial expansion for example into 4 or 5 provinces so the government is present even in remote areas like village in the edge of the jungle in Papua.
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.