Government's Performance Report 2021 neglects to mention conflict in Papua

CNN Indonesia – October 23, 2021
Indonesian troops on patrol in Papua – Undated (Dok)

Jakarta – The government has released its 2021 Performance Report. The report however, does not contain an evaluation of the handling of conflicts which have occurred in Papua.

Yet, of late, there have been frequent armed conflicts between armed criminal groups (KKB) and the Indonesian military resulting in not a few lives being lost on both sides.

An Amnesty International report for example says that the human rights situation in Indonesia worsened in 2020. Amnesty also highlighted the problem of impunity which continues to haunt Papua and West Papua provinces.

According to Amnesty's records, there were at least 19 cases of alleged extrajudicial killings by security forces in Papua and West Papua resulting in the death of 30 people.

In September 2021 meanwhile, armed groups attacked and set fire to public facilities in Okhika, Star Highlands regency. A number of facilities such as the Okhika community healthcare centre (puskesmas), the house of the puskesmas head, healthcare workers' houses, a primary school building, a junior high school building, a teacher's house and the local village hall in Okhika district were burnt down.

Then in Kiwirok, an armed group allegedly set fire to a district office, the Kiwirok Papua Bank offices, the Kiwirok puskesmas, a doctor's house, a healthcare workers' barracks, an Inpres primary school, a teacher's home and a market.

During the incident several healthcare workers disappeared and were allegedly taken hostage by the separatist group. One of them, Gabriella Meilan was found dead.

In addition to this, as a consequence of the conflict in Papua, many people have been displaced. Such as the firefight between the TNI (Indonesian military) and police with an armed group in February in Intan Jaya which forced local residents to seek shelter at the St Misael Bilogal Catholic Church.

On the other hand, the government report titled "Powerful Indonesia, Growing Indonesia", which was released to coincide with two years of the President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Vice President Ma'ruf Amin's administration, includes a report on the government's commitment to development in Papua, ranging from human resources to bureaucratic improvements.

The report also boasts about the 20th National Games (PON XX) in the Land of the Cenderawasih as Papua is known. The government states that the holding of the National Games in Papua are a signs of a revival in Papua. (sfr)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Laporan Kinerja, Pemerintah Tak Cantumkan Konflik Papua".]