APSN Banner

Intan Jaya people reject Wabu Block mining and Statue of Jesus construction

Tabloid Jubi - January 30, 2024

Timika, Jubi – On Saturday (27/1/2024), the Acting Regent of Intan Jaya, Apolos Bagau, facilitated a meeting between the Regional Leadership Coordination Forum (Forkopimda) of Intan Jaya Regency and the Intan Jaya people, as well as religious figures in Sugapa, the capital of Intan Jaya.

During the meeting, both the community and religious figures reiterated their rejection of mining in the Wabu Block and the construction of the statue of Jesus in Intan Jaya.

The meeting, held at the Intan Jaya Regent's Office in Sugapa, aimed to gather opinions on various armed conflicts that have been ongoing. Apolos Bagau, the Acting Regent of Intan Jaya, stated that the local government and Forkopimda of Intan Jaya had also convened a meeting in Nabire last week.

"At the meeting in Nabire, the local government and Forkopimda declared a halt to the construction of the statue of Jesus and rejected the exploitation of the Wabu Block. Today, a meeting with the community is held to directly hear their aspirations and strengthen the statement issued by the government last week," said Apolos Bagau.

Bagau expressed hope that the region could recover, allowing the government to function, and the community to resume normal activities. He also urged all parties to prepare for the success of the 2024 General Election.

The Secretary of Intan Jaya Regency, Asir Mirip, hoped that the security situation in Intan Jaya would gradually improve so that everyone could contribute to the success of the election.

"In the next seven days, the General Election Commission will distribute election logistics to each district in Intan Jaya Regency," he added.

Panius Wonda, the Chairman of the Intan Jaya People's Council, expressed full support for efforts to restore peace and security in Intan Jaya.

"Some time ago, we announced in Nabire. Today as well. I support it, so I signed this statement," said Wonda.

Meanwhile, Riska Imron Rosadi, the Deputy Commander of the 330/Tri Dharma Para Raider Infantry Battalion, who initiated the construction of the statue of Jesus in Bilogai, admitted that there was no other intention behind the plan. However, due to the controversy resulting casualties among security forces and the community, the Infantry Battalion decided not to proceed with the project.

"We decided not to continue the construction and handed it over entirely to the local government to ensure peace and security in this area," said Rosadi.

Norbertus Sondegau, a community figure from Yokatapa, acknowledged that the conflict with the Wabu Block started in 2019, and the situation escalated with the plan to build the statue of Jesus.

"The community cannot live peacefully. We suffer due to armed conflicts between the security forces and the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) because of the Wabu Block and the statue of Jesus. We thank the government for stopping the construction of the statue and rejecting the exploitation of Wabu Block," said Sondegau.

Rafael Hagisimijau, a community figure from Titigi village, stated that the lives of Intan Jaya residents were chaotic and unsafe due to Wabu Block mining, and the difficulty increased with the construction of the statue of Jesus. This led him and seven other tribes to reject the construction of the Jesus statue in Bilogai. He added that the community still supported the government's development programs.

The head of Wandoga village stated that residents of Bilogai, Kumbalagupa, Wandoga, Yokatapa, and Namba were always targeted during conflicts. "I observe that the existing community always becomes a victim. Therefore, we ask the government and authorities to restore this area, so that road construction, peace, and the well-being of the community can be achieved," he said.

Agustianus Sondegau, a youth figure from Sugapa, requested the Acting Regent of Intan Jaya to ensure that civil servants (ASN) return to their respective duties. He emphasized the importance of the presence of ASN in crucial positions to boost the purchasing power of the community and stimulate economic growth.

"If employees are present at their duty stations, economic circulation can run smoothly. Therefore, we ask the Regent to ensure that employees who are outside Intan Jaya return to their duty stations," he said.

Rev. Yance Yogi Pr, the Dean of the Moni Puncak Deanship expressed his rejection of the construction of the statue of Jesus and the exploitation of Wabu Block.

"The Catholic Church leadership in Moni-Puncak rejects the construction of the statue of Jesus, even though it is a symbol believed by the Catholic religion. For the comfort and peace of nature and humans in this land, with the permission of the Timika Diocese, I declare rejection," said Yogi.

Representing GKII Sugapa Church, Rev. Henok Tipagau stated that GKII rejects the construction of the statue of Jesus in Bilogai as well. (*)

Source: https://en.jubi.id/intan-jaya-people-reject-wabu-block-mining-and-statue-of-jesus-construction