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Boundary resolution urgently needed to prevent future tribal conflicts in Papua

Tabloid Jubi - June 12, 2023

Nabire, Jubi – Otto Gobay, the spokesperson for the Puncak and Puncak Jaya Association (Anlabepuja) expressed his desire for a swift resolution to the recent conflict between residents in Uwapa District's Topo, Nabire Regency, Central Papua Province. Gobay urged the local government to address and clarify the boundaries of the region to prevent future conflicts among residents.

During a press conference in Nabire on Saturday, June 10, 2023, Gobay stressed the need for the Central Papua Provincial Government and regents in Central Papua to promptly define the boundaries for customary rights of indigenous peoples in the province's eight regencies. However, Gobay emphasized the importance of first resolving the ongoing conflict.

Gobay further appealed to the Acting Governor of Central Papua and the eight regents to arrange a peace gathering according to Papuan customs, aiming to reconcile the dispute between residents in Topo. Gobay underlined the unity of Papuans as one large family living in the Land of Papua, urging an end to the conflict and the pursuit of peace.

In the meantime, Nabire Regent Mesak Magai announced his intention to mediate a meeting between traditional leaders and the conflicting parties involved in the conflict in Topo. The meeting was scheduled to take place on Tuesday the following week or June 13.

Magai stated that the purpose of the meeting was to address the land dispute that had led to the conflict between residents in Topo. The meeting would involve several tribal chiefs and the regents of Puncak, Puncak Jaya, Dogiyai, and Intan Jaya.

"The regents need to be present as well in the meeting as it would enable them to grasp the essence of the issue and offer their insights and guidance to the community," said Magai.

The land dispute between residents in Topo took place on June 4 and resulted in the loss of two lives. Because of this, a group of residents became enraged and the anger spread to three districts in the Meepago area, namely Dogiyai, Deiyai, and Paniai. Consequently, spontaneous mass mobilization took place.

On June 7, at 10:45 p.m. local time, the enraged masses set fire to six houses at Kilometer 80 and one house at Kilometer 64.

"The police are currently conducting an investigation to determine the cause of the fire, including recording the number of affected houses and verifying information regarding injuries or fatalities," said head of Public Relations of the Papua Police Comr. Ignatius Benny Ady Prabowo in a written statement.

Source: https://en.jubi.id/boundary-resolution-urgently-needed-to-prevent-future-tribal-conflicts-in-papua