Papua regional administration hopes Trans-Papua project continues

Papua regional administration hopes Trans-Papua project continues

The Trans Papua track construction project when reviewed by President Joko Widodo (second right) used a trail bike on the Wamena-Habema road, Jayawijaya District, Papua, last year (May 2017). (ANTARA PHOTO/Indrianto Eko Suwarso)

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News) - The Papua provincial administration said it hopes that the construction of the 278 kilometer Trans-Papua highway would continue despite the bloody incident on Sunday when a group of armed civilians believed to be Papua separatists killed 31 construction workers in the district of Nduga .

The alleged separatists fired shots at the workers building two bridges spanning the Yigi and Aurak rivers in the Yall area killing 31 of the workers .

Secretary of the Papua Provincial Administration Hery Dosinaen said the regional administration hoped that there would be concrete steps taken both in legal aspect and security and social approaches.

"It is necessary that the process of development could continue as scheduled in that area," Hery said.

He said the Papua provincial administration through district administration of Nduga is responsible for seeing the situation and condition.

"We would not be in a hurry to make a conclusion of the incident, as there are others having the duty and responsibility for it. Therefore, on behalf of the Papua Governor and Vice Governor and regional officials we expressed deep concern," he said.

He said he deeply regret if the incident would cause the Public Works and Housing Ministry to suspend work in the Trans-Papua highway project.

On Sunday a group of alleged separatists attacked the workers of PT Istaka Karya when building the bridges over the Yigi and Aurak rivers killing 31 of them.

Chief of the Presidential Staff Moeldoko said development of Papua would continue as scheduled despite the incident.

"Development must continue as scheduled, regardless of everything. The government is determined to go ahead as it is for the interest of the Papuan people," Moeldoko said at the presidential office in Jakarta earlier on Wednesday.

The road is expected to end the isolation of that area facilitating transport and communications, he said.

He said more security officers would be dispatched to that area to guarantee the security of the workers, the former Indonesian military chief said.

A Papua Military spokesman Lt.Col. Dax Sianturi said the attackers were separatist group under Egianus Kogoyaa, adding the group with around 40 members had been known to be involved in similar violence.

Defense Minister Ryamirzard Ryacudu said the murderers were not ordinary criminals but they are rebels or separatists of the Free Papua Organization (OPM).

The group also attacked a military post at Mbua, in the district of Nduga killing a soldier and injuring another one.

Reporting by Hendrina Dian Kandipi
Editing by Yoseph Hariyadi