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Komnas HAM attempts to meet Benny Wenda, OPM to end Papua conflict

Tempo - March 29, 2022

Fajar Pebrianto, Jakarta – The National Commission on Human Rights or Komnas HAM is still attempting to meet the commander of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) and the leader of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Benny Wenda. Meetings are being sought in the midst of the ongoing conflict in Papua.

The head of the Papuan Komnas HAM Representative, Frits Bernard Ramandey, said his side is still trying to hold another meeting with the OPM commander. Learning from experiences in Aceh and Timor Leste, he added, dialogue requires a process, stages, and time.

"We are still making efforts, so there is no certainty yet," said Frits to Tempo on Monday, March 28.

However, he claimed that communication had actually been done with several OPM leaders in Papua. Long before 2021, Frits also said that he had directly met four OPM commanders in the province.

Previously, Komnas HAM chairman Ahmad Taufan Damanik revealed the plan for a meeting with those Papuan figures on Wednesday, March 23. Ahmad said his side was trying to initiate a peaceful dialogue in Papua, one of which is by meeting with the OPM and Benny Wenda.

Ahmad also confirmed that there were meetings between Frits and the OPM commander. In fact, he said, communications had been carried out to almost all factions in the OPM by Komnas HAM Papua.

However, no agreement has been reached thus far, except for a commitment to continue the communication. Komnas HAM also wanted to hold another meeting in a bid to build trust between the two parties. "We'll build closeness first," Ahmad said.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1576059/komnas-ham-attempts-to-meet-benny-wenda-opm-to-end-papua-conflict