APSN Banner

Maybrat displaced people traumatized, hesitant to return to hometowns: Church

Tabloid Jubi - August 28, 2022

Jayapura, Jubi – The Manokwari Sorong Diocese Catholic Church has recently persuaded the displaced people of Maybrat to return to their hometown in Kisor Village. However, they are still traumatized following what happened in Kisor on September 2, 2021, when, after the attack on Kisor Military Post, police officers especially the mobile brigade acted repressively against civilians while chasing the perpetrators of the attack.

Pastor Izaak Bame of the Manokwari Sorong Diocese told this as a response to the appeal of West Papua Governor Paulus Waterpauw to the Maybrat Regent to send the Maybrat displaced people home. Some of them are even still taking shelter in Maybrat forests.

Bame said the church also longs for the Maybrat community to return home. But the church regretted that there was no guarantee for the safety of the people, and it meant that the situation was not ideal for these people to return as they were still traumatized.

"It turns out that they experienced police brutality before. After the Kisor incident, wherein a mobile brigade member was killed, the security forces searched for the perpetrator but in the process, they also tortured the community, seized people's belongings, and even arrested some people who had nothing to do with the murder in Kisor Military Post," he told Jubi via WhatsApp on Thursday, August 25, 2022.

"As a Pastor, I would like to convey to the Governor that the Maybrat displaced people may return to their hometowns on the condition that there is a written agreement to immediately withdraw all Indonesian Military [TNI] and Police personnel in Maybrat Regency. The agreement must be stamped and signed by the [West Papua] Governor, [Maybrat] Regent, and the TNI and police, as well as the church as community representatives," Bame added.

Bame said the local government must also guarantee the continuation of the teaching and learning process for the children of Maybrat. "Education is important for their future. We also urge that health workers be placed in the hometowns of the displaced people, especially in the center of the District capital," he said.

He further asked the security forces not to interfere with priests, pastors, or church officials. "Please do not disturb the Church officers who are serving the people in the villages of the South Aifat and the Greater East Aifat," he said.

Source: https://en.jubi.id/maybrat-displaced-people-traumatized-hesitant-to-return-to-hometowns-church