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Indonesia, Papua

International group urges quick establishment of Papua unit

An international think tank has urged Indonesia’s government to establish a special Papua unit with a mandate including political issues.

The International Crisis Group says the new unit should look at a series of indicators produced by July’s Papua Peace Conference. That conference brought together some 800 participants from across Papua. It’s final declaration listed 17 criteria for negotiators between the government and pro-independence political fronts.

A draft decree setting up the Papua Unit has reportedly been on the Cabinet Secretary’s desk since May, without progress.

The ICG says increased violence in Puncak Jaya this month and last has given renewed urgency to setting up of the mooted –but long-delayed–body.

Puncak Jaya is one of Papua’s poorer districts, and home to some of the most active Free Papua Organisation/National Liberation Army (OPM/TPN) units.

The International Crisis Group says Puncak Jaya is ‘wracked by insurgency, corruption and some of the worst poverty in Indonesia…

‘Violence there helps fuel local political activism and an international solidarity movement, which in turn fuels antipathy in Jakarta to any steps toward conflict resolution that involves discussion of political grievances.’

www.crisisgroup.org

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About Samantha Magick

Journalist and editor

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