Papua Peace Network calls on Jakarta to end armed conflict, hold dialogue

Suara Papua – January 31, 2022
Papua Peace Network spokesperson Yan Christian Warinussy – Udated (dok pribadi)

Yance Agapa, Nabire – The Papua Peace Network (JDP) is asking the Indonesian government to end the armed conflict by pursuing a path of dialogue.

"I'm absolutely sure that dialogue could be a 'golden bridge' towards resolving the social and political conflict which has been going on for more than 50 years in the land of Papua and has depleted the state's energy and budget which were initially allocated to the development of the people's welfare in the land of Papua", said JDP spokesperson Yan Christian Warinussy on Monday January 31.

The former coordinator of the JDP, the late Dr. Muridan S. Widjoyo, once said that dialogue will not kill anyone.

So, said Warinussy, "I think that Muridan's statement is appropriate to open talks with the Indonesian government under the leadership of President Joko Widodo to immediately end the conflict and violence in the land of Papua by starting a peaceful dialogue between all elements or groups involved for the sake of mutually agreeing on a way to end the armed violence and to begin taking steps to implement this for Papua".

"Dialogue is very relevant, important and urgent at the moment", he said.

According to Warinussy, conflict and violence in Papua has given rise to many victims among the ordinary Papuan people which are rarely resolved legally, so that it always leaves behind the problem state impunity among elements of the TNI (Indonesian military) and the Polri (Indonesian police) forces.

On the other hand, the death of several TNI and Polri personnel in many cases has become a means to justify conducting military security operations, which in turn give rise to civilian victims among the ordinary people.

"The tragic death of Reverend Yeremias Zanambani [in 2020] was an example of a case related to security or military operations which always result in civilians, the ordinary people becoming victims", he said.

The JDP is also appealing to the TNI, Polri and the West Papuan National Liberation Army (TPNPB) – or what is referred to as armed criminal groups (KKB) by the government – to stop the use of arms and end the violence as well as start a peaceful dialogue with the government and the ordinary people in Papua.

"We (the JDP) are also pushing President Joko Widodo to restart moves to pursue dialoged by appointing a special envoy to begin holding informal dialogue with all important parties for the sake of starting moves to prepare for a Papua-Jakarta dialogue", he said in conclusion.

Speaking separately, West Papua National Committee (KNPB) Chairperson Warpo Sampari Wetipo said that Jakarta cannot stop the conflict and violence in Papua just by offering to create new autonomous regions (DOB), Special Autonomy Chapter II and infrastructure development, but must use a persuasive approach instead.

"[Through the] solution of peaceful dialogue we can take the road of peace. The dialogue which the KNPB means is not just Jakarta-Papua dialogue but international dialogue which is facilitated by a neutral party", said Wetipo.

According to Wetipo, the Papuan people are the political subject so there must be representation in any peace dialogue.

"So they [Jakarta] must sit together with a forum of the ordinary people so that within that forum the people's agenda is discussed which is facilitated by a neutral party", he asserted.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "JDP Minta Negara Akhiri Konflik di Papua Gunakan Dialog".]