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Government serious about Papua welfare: Moeldoko

Antara News - July 21, 2022

Indra A, Azis Kurmala, Jakarta – Head of the Presidential Staff Office (KSP) Moeldoko has said that the Indonesian government is serious about the welfare and progress of the people in Papua region.

"What is the evidence? It's Presidential Instruction No. 9 of 2020 concerning the acceleration of welfare development in Papua and West Papua, which is commanded by the Vice President (Ma'ruf Amin) directly," he said during a media presentation here on Thursday.

The government and the House of Representatives (DPR) have ratified Law Number 2 of 2021 concerning Special Autonomy for Papua Province, which emphasizes increasing special autonomy (Otsus) funds, improving governance, and increasing the participation of indigenous peoples, he added.

The former TNI commander said that the government and the DPR have also approved the establishment of three new autonomous regions (DOBs) – Central Papua, Highlands Papua, and South Papua provinces – as part of an effort to bring public services closer to the people of Papua.

Regarding the acts of violence and killings carried out by armed separatist groups (KKB) in Papua, he said that the acts were undertaken because the groups are afraid of the government's development achievements.

"The general public in Papua basically wants a peaceful life, they do not want to be involved in the violent actions (by KKB)," he explained.

Based on data recorded between March 2010 and March 2022, armed groups have carried out 226 acts of violence in Papua, including killings and burning of public facilities, government buildings, schools, and houses, with the aim of spreading terror among the community.

Meanwhile, from April to July 2022, he said, the groups committed 18 crimes and killed 22 people, as per records.

"I receive reports from the head of districts, the language is the same (they do not want to be involved in violent acts). Furthermore, the government has called on the people to not be provoked by ethnic, religious, racial and social group (SARA) sentiments developed by the KKBs and to carry out activities as usual," Moeldoko said.

The Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing earlier assured that work on unfinished sections of the Trans-Papua Road would be completed gradually by 2024.

"Some incomplete roads in the Trans-Papua Road system, such as the Jayapura-Oksibil corridor and the 183-kilometer Keerom Batom-section, will be completed by gradual means by 2024," the ministry's spokesperson, Endra S. Atmawidjaja, informed.

The development of the Trans-Papua Road until 2024 will prioritize the completion of the inter-provincial Jayapura-Wamena section – which is expected to be the main logistics corridor for the highland region – and the Manokwari-Mameh-Windesi-Kampung Muri-Kwatisore-Batas Papua road section in West Papua, he said.

Of the 3,462-km Trans-Papua Road, some 183 km is still not connected, while some 1,647 km of the road section, comprising 977 km in Papua and 670 km in West Papua, has been paved, the spokesperson informed.

Apart from completing the Trans-Papua Road, the ministry is also committed to completing some infrastructure projects in the provinces of Papua and West Papua, he added.

Source: https://en.antaranews.com/news/240573/government-serious-about-papua-welfare-moeldok