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Civilian casualties will mount if security approach continues in Papua: Kontras

Kompas.com - September 20, 2021

Tatang Guritno, Jakarta – Papuan civilians will continue to fall victim if the government continues to use a security approach to resolve the problems in the land of the Cenderawasih as Papua is known.

Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) researcher Rivanlee Anandar says that the conflict in Papua will result in more people being killed, traumatised and losing their right to a sense of safety.

"The consequence is that in the future the Papuan people will grow up with a sense of fear", said Anandar when contacted on Monday September 20.

The consequence of this, continued Anandar, is that the systemic problems in Papua will not be resolved. "Such as (the problem) of access to basic needs, inequality will not be solved if a [security] approach continues to be used", he said.

Anandar said that right now, a concrete step that could be taken is for the House of Representatives (DPR) Commission I to conduct an evaluation and audit of the TNI (Indonesian military) and government's attempts to deal with the problems in Papua.

"This would show the gaps or where the mistakes lie that must be fixed in the future", he said.

Anandar hopes that the government will not be allergic to the results of such an evaluation and be willing to be open to accepting criticism and input from the Papuan people.

"Open your ears, provide space to speak with the Papuan people on the criticisms about the approaches that have been used up until now and accept their proposals to find an alternative solution from the Papuan people", he said.

As has been reported, the conflict in Papua between the government and armed criminal groups (KKB) is still continuing.

On Wednesday September 15 two health workers were found in Kiwirok district, Star Mountain regency. The pair were declared missing after an attack by an armed group in the area on Monday September 13.

One of the health workers named Kristina Sampe Tonapa was found alive while their colleague, Gabriella Meilani had died.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Masyarakat Papua Terus Jadi Korban jika Pemerintah Selalu Gunakan Pendekatan Keamanan".]

Source: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2021/09/20/13380801/masyarakat-papua-terus-jadi-korban-jika-pemerintah-selalu-gunakan-pendekata