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No jihadis in West Papua - police chief

Radio New Zealand - October 10, 2019

Indonesia's West Papua police chief is making assurances that no jihadis have arrived in Papua.

Paulus Waterpauw's comments come after hardline Indonesian Muslim group Front Jihad Islam, or FJI, issued a call to arms in the Indonesia-ruled Papuan provinces after non-Papuan settlers were among the victims of recent violence there.

Unrest has surged in Papua region since August, including a day of rioting and violence in the Highlands city of Wamena two weeks ago when about 30 people were killed.

The unrest came off the back of widespread public demonstrations by West Papuans protesting against racism and calling for a referendum on independence from Indonesia.

FJI has been busy spreading its message online, replete with videoed torching of the Papuan Morning Star Flag and banners calling for Jihadis to be recruited for fighting in Papua against Papuans.

Mr Waterpauw told state-news agency Antara about 40 members of a separate Islamic group, Jama'ah Tabligh, had been visiting Papua's biggest city Jayapura since last year.

But no jihadis had been to the region, he said, and Papua police would meet with the Jama'ah Tabligh members in Jayapura.

Source: https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/400685/no-jihadis-in-west-papua-police-chief