TNI, police deploy trucks to move thousand Papuan demonstrators home

TNI, police deploy trucks to move thousand Papuan demonstrators home

Several hundred demonstrators recently staged a rally in the yard of Papua governor's office in Jayapura. ANTARA/Hendrina Dian Kandipi/pri)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian military (TNI) and police (Polri) deployed 10 trucks, Friday, to move thousand native Papuans home from the Papuan governor office they had occupied, Thursday evening, during a violent protest against the recent Surabaya incident.

The military and police trucks were deployed at around 9:15 a.m. local time to help send the native Papuan demonstrators home, spokesman of the XVII/Cenderawasih Regional Military Command Lt Col Eko Daryanto noted in a press statement made available to ANTARA here on Friday.

The native Papuan residents, whose protest turned to rioting, should be sent home as a precautionary measure against clashes with members of the Community Organisation of the Archipelago, or "Payuguban Masyarakat Nusantara," that had staged a rally against them, he noted.

Daryanto affirmed that the military and police personnel will also call on members of the Community Organisation of the Archipelago that had rejected the Papuan residents' violent demonstration to stop sweeping against the demonstrators, who feared returning home.

"We are also strengthening our security measures at national vital objects and are backing up the Papua provincial police to secure the rallies," he stated.

Related news: Military, police chiefs hold closed-door meeting with Papuan figures

On Thursday, the indigenous Papuan residents of Jayapura, the capital city of Papua Province, again staged a protest against the alleged racist slurs against their Papuan compatriots in Surabaya, East Java, on August 16, but their rally turned violent.

The brutal demonstrators went on a rampage, vandalizing and setting ablaze several government buildings. The demonstrators also deliberately damaged the office of ANTARA, Indonesia's national news agency, in the city on Thursday.

On Wednesday, a circle of violence also broke out in Deiyai District, some 500 kilometers away from Jayapura, Papua Province’s capital city, resulting in the death of an army soldier and two civilians.

Speaking in connection with this Deiyai incident, Papua Police Chief, Inspector General Rudolf Rodja, expounded that initially, the rally staged by some 100 people in front of the district office had proceeded in a peaceful manner.

However, this peaceful protest then took a violent turn following the arrival of at least a thousand people. Several of them attacked an army vehicle and forcibly seized 10 SS-1 assault rifles from the car along with the loaded magazines, he revealed.

Rioters, brandishing arrows and machetes, attacked and killed Second Sergeant Rikson.

With the assault rifles forcibly taken from the army vehicle, several armed protesters also began to fire at security personnel securing the rally. An exchange of fire then broke out, Rodja stated.

As a result, three people lost their lives, while five army and police personnel were injured, he revealed.

On Aug 19, several thousand people in Manokwari, West Papua Province, and Jayapura, Papua Province, demonstrated to express their ire over alleged racist action against Papuan students in Surabaya and Malang, East Java.

During the rally in Manokwari, a local parliamentary building was set ablaze. The demonstrators also torched tires in several parts of the city and main streets.

However, National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian stated that normalcy had been restored in Manokwari. He also ordered the police chiefs of Papua and West Papua to adopt security measures and to avoid the use of excessive force. Related news: Travel ban on 7 involved in racist speech

Related news: Military, police chiefs hold dialog with Papuan leaders in Biak


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