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Papua rights commission urges Widodo to talk to pro-independence groups

KBR - September 5, 2019

Valda Kustarini and Adi Ahdiat, Jakarta – The Papua representative office of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) is urging the government to deal with the Papua conflict through dialogue with the "appropriate" parties.

The chairperson of the Komnas HAM representative office in Papua, Frits Ramandey, says that up until now the government's dialogue has been wrong because it did not involve factions which are accused of being "separatists".

"The factions that I mean are those who talk about the issue of Papuan independence, the OPM [Free Papua Movement], then the ULMWP [the United Liberation Movement for West Papua]. The [government] must listen to them, which would be a far better way to find a path to resolution", Ramandey told KBR on Wednesday September 5.

Many problems in Papua

Ramandey also revealed that there are currently many Papuan social organisations that do not trust the government.

"So, it's important for the government to restore a sense of trust. One of the ways is to seriously deal with HAM [human rights] cases in Papua is for example the government must have the courage to take cases of HAM violations in Papua to trial", said Ramandey.

"For example the cases of HAM violations in Wasior, Wamena and Paniai, Papua. After this the government can focus on resolving other issues in Papua", he continued.

According to Ramandey, aside from the issue of human rights and independence, the Papuan people are also facing many problems related to agrarian issues and control over land and forests.

"Then how to improve development in Papua. And don't forget enforcing the law for corruptors in Papua hasn't been happening at all. This must also be taken up by the government, so that public services can reach [the people]", he added.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "\Komnas HAM Papua: Selama Ini Pemerintah Salah Dialog".]

Source: https://kbr.id/nasional/09-2019/komnas_ham_papua__selama_ini_pemerintah_salah_dialog/100414.html