60,642 people displaced, 732 dead due to armed conflict in Papua: Kontras

Kompas.com – February 22, 2023
Children at refugee shelter in Aula district, Maybrat regency – Undated (Tribune)

Singgih Wiryono, Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) has recorded that as of December 2022 as many as 60,642 civilians have been displaced – and 732 of these have died – as a consequence of the armed conflict between the TNI (Indonesian military) and the Free Papua Movement (OPM).

"Aside from having to leave their homes, people are also faced with poor nutrition that afflicts displaced people's children that is caused by a lack of sufficient food while they are in refugee shelters", said Kontras Coordinator Fatia Maulidiyanti in a statement on Wednesday February 22.

Maulidiyanti is therefore urging the Indonesian government to fulfill the rights of people displaced as a consequence of the armed conflict.

"[We call on] the Indonesian government to immediately deal with and provide refugees with basic rights in six Papuan regions in accordance with human rights standards", she said.

On the other hand, in order that the number of displaced people does not increase, Kontras is urging the TNI and the OPM to immediately halt the armed conflict in Papua. The two warring parties are being asked to guarantee the safety of civilians.

The group is also urging the Indonesian government to immediately explain how they are handling the conflict in the land of the Cendrawasih – as Papua is known.

"The existing situation must also be explained transparently and be based on accountability to the public as well as the international community", said Maulidiyanti.

The final call made by Kontras was for National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) and the government to immediately hold peace talks and mediate with armed groups in Papua.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Kontras Sebut 60.642 Warga Sipil Mengungsi dan 732 Tewas akibat Konflik Bersenjata di Papua".]

Source: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2023/02/22/13301631/kontras-sebut-60642-warga-sipil-mengungsi-dan-732-tewas-akibat-konflik