Papuan problem must be solved with dialogue

Kompas – January 18, 2010
Komnas HAM representative office deputy chairperson Matius Murib (Tabloid Jubi)
Komnas HAM representative office deputy chairperson Matius Murib (Tabloid Jubi)

Jakarta – Acts of violence and human rights violations in Papua have continued throughout 2009. This situation has further complicated efforts to resolve various problems in Papua through dialogue, as desired by the majority of Papuan people.

“In order that dialogue can proceed calmly and peacefully by accommodating the interests of all people in Papua, the security forces must be withdrawn from Papua. Up until now every increase in TNI-Polri (Indonesian military-police) numbers has further complicated the situation in Papua”, said the deputy chairperson of the Papuan National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) representative office, Matius Murib in Jakarta on Sunday January 17.

As long as security forces remain in Papua, it will be difficult to organise a dialogue to resolve the Papuan problem peacefully. This is because the security forces are the biggest violators of human rights in Papua.

The results of monitoring by the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) between October and November 2009 found 11 cases of violence in Papua. The largest number of cases were shootings (5 cases), followed by the raising of the Morning Star flag (3 cases).

A peaceful situation is necessary before there can be dialogue, said Murib, so that a process of Papuan internal consolidation can take place, particularly in determining who is appropriate to represent the Papuan people, both native Papuans as well as migrants.

The determination of who is to represent the Papuan people is important bearing in mind that there are around 300 ethnic groups in Papua and more than half of the current population are migrants. (MZW)

[Translated by James Balowski.]