The government must resolve the Papua problems comprehensively so that all members of both native and non-native Papuan communities could again live in peaceful coexistence
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) Secretary General Anwar Abbas deplored the brutal killings of innocent civilians and destruction of properties during deadly rioting that broke out in Wamena, the capital city of Jayawijaya District, Papua Province, on Sept 23.

"The rioters' brutal acts of violence have claimed so many lives of innocent civilians," Abbas said in a press statement commenting on Wamena's deadly rioting made available to ANTARA in Jakarta on Sunday.

Wamena's deadly rioting occurred during a rally that native Papuan students staged on September 23.

Thirty three people, including a medical doctor, were killed, while at least 77 others sustained injuries due to the riot that had also forced several thousands of residents, mostly non-native Papuans, to take refuge to the local military and police compounds.

Related news: Deployment of two TNI aircraft to evacuate riot victims in Wamena

Most of the dead and the wounded were non-native Papuans who had been assaulted by rioters brandishing machetes and arrows. Many of them migrated to Papua from their hometowns in such provinces as West Sumatra and South Sulawesi to make a living.

According to National Police Spokesman, Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo, the masterminds of this deadly riot are allegedly members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB).

In response to the deaths of so many innocent civilians in Wamena's deadly rioting, Anwar Abbas expressed his deepest condolences and appealed to the government to take stern legal actions against those responsible for those brutal acts of violence.

He also urged the government to resolve the Papua problems comprehensively so that all members of both native and non-native Papuan communities could again live in peaceful coexistence.

Related news: Four men in Papua's Oksibil subdistrict nabbed for burning kiosks

In connection with Wamena's rioting, Papua Police Chief Inspector General Rudolf A. Rodja said earlier that it might have been fueled by the proliferation of hoaxes through social media platforms that incited public ire among Wamena's residents.

Several local media reports revealed that the Wamena riot was instigated by hoaxes pertaining to a teacher's racist slur against native Papuan students.

In August, a wave of violence also broke out in several parts of Papua and West Papua in the upshot of the Surabaya incident that had triggered public ire among native Papuans.

Native Papuans in various parts of the provinces of Papua and West Papua held demonstrations to protest alleged racist slurs against the Papuan students in Surabaya on August 16, 2019.

Related news: Kalla dismisses Papuan referendum proposal by Pacific nations at UNGA

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Translator: Prisca TV, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
Copyright © ANTARA 2019