Makassar – Students living at the Papuan dormitory in the South Sulawesi provincial capital of Makassar clashed with a group of people from an ormas (social or mass organisations) this evening, Monday August 19.
According to CNN Indonesia’s observations at the scene, scores of students from the Papuan dormitory on Jl Lanto Daeng Pasewang in Makassar fought back when the ormas activists attacked the dormitory.
It is not yet clear why they arrived but soon after the Papuan students and the ormas activists began pelting each other with rocks in a clash which lasted for around 30 minutes
The clash only ended when Makassar metropolitan district police chief (Kapolrestabes) Senior Commissioner Wahyu Dwi Ariwibowo arrived at the scene. Police officers then tried to bring the situation under control to prevent another incident.
Makassar metropolitan district police (Polrestabes) Intelligence and Security Unit Head Police Commander Adliansyah could be seen coordinating his officers as they closed off roads providing access to the student dormitory such as Jl Lanto Daeng Pasewang, Jl Rusa and Jl Anuang. A one kilometre stretch was closed off with a police line.
The Papuan students who had been asked to go back into the dormitory instead chose to stay sitting on the road in front of the dormitory. Several minutes later several police vehicles arrived including a barracuda armoured vehicle. Buy this time the brawl had settled down.
In a video circulating on social media, a group of people wearing white peci caps (worn by Muslim men) can be seen throwing stones at the Papuan dormitory windows. Several among them wore helmets for protection.
Meanwhile a group of people can be seen standing in front of the dormitory building. Based on a voice recording by one of the dormitory residents, shouts of “Destroy the Papuan dormitory, destroy the Papuan dormitory” could be heard. The same resident said that all of their members had gathered at the dormitory.
“Friends, we at the dormitory are being attacked by local Makassar people and ormas tonight”, says a person assumed to be a Papuan student.
The video recording also shows a number of people assumed to be Papuan students sitting on the road. They are bear chested and behind them are uniformed police officers.
From the sound of the recording a police officer can be heard trying to calm the situation down. They state that they will guarantee the security of the Papuan students.
“I guarantee the security for all of you friends. Let’s stay on guard, please try to understand, we can all help keeping guard here. I guarantee it. I will put security in place here until it’s resolved”, says the police officer.
There has yet to be any official explanation from the police in relation to the incident and it is also not known what triggered the siege on the dormitory.
Meanwhile the situation in Manokwari, West Papua today has heated up and ended in rioting. The action was in response to an attack on a Papuan student dormitory in Surabaya on Saturday and a clash between local people and Papuan independence protesters in Malang in Thursday.
The riots have also spread to Sorong city with protesters vandalising public facilities including the Domine Eduard Osok Airport.
Earlier, police also went to a Papuan student dormitory in the Kramat Jati are of Jakarta to ensure that the situation their remained favourable.
CNN Indonesia has tried to contact Ariwibowo to confirm the siege on the student dormitory in Makassar but has yet to receive a response. (psp/wis)
According to a Detik article on the same day, the incident in Makassar began when a group of unidentified people arrived at the student dormitory and began pelting it with rocks. According to an eyewitness interviewed by Detik – whose car was also damaged during the attack – it was this group that attacked the dormitory first.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Mahasiswa di Asrama Papua Bentrok dengan Ormas di Makassar”.]