Papua Governor offers security assurance to native, non-native people

Papua Governor offers security assurance to native, non-native people

Papua Governor Lukas Enembe received Deputy Governor of West Sumatra Nasrul Abit in Jayapura, Papua, on September 30, 2019. (ANTARA/The Papuan Provincial Government's PR/ FA)

Certainly, we regret the incident. The people must not become fearful since the government, TNI, and Polri will guarantee their safety
Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - Papua Governor Lukas Enembe has reiterated the preparedness of the government, Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI), and Indonesian Police (Polri) in ensuring safety and security to natives and non-natives in the Province.

Enembe voiced the security guarantee to visiting Deputy Governor of West Sumatra Nasrul Abit at a meeting here on Monday.

Abit paid a visit to Papua after 33 people, including those from West Sumatra, were murdered during a riot staged by Papuans in Wamena on Sept 23, 2019, to reject the racism slur against Papuan students.

"We express deep regret over the riots in Wamena and Papua, in general, which were initially triggered by (racist slurring) incidents in Surabaya and Malang," the Papuan governor emphasized.

Enembe believes that what transpired in Wamena was beyond the realm of anyone’s knowledge and understanding, adding that he had visited Wamena to meet the displaced people and to ensure safety of the victims, mostly non-natives, who have lived and worked in Papua for years.

"Certainly, we regret the incident. The people must not become fearful since the government, TNI, and Polri will guarantee their safety," he affirmed.

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The visiting West Sumatra deputy governor claimed that his visit was aimed at assessing the condition of West Sumatra's people, who had fallen victim to the bloody riot.

"The purpose of my visit to Papua is to gain an understanding and witness up-close the actual condition. In fact, not all Minang people (West Sumatra tribe) want to go home. They said they were born and grew up in Papua and want to remain in Papua,” Abit noted.

Originally, 981 Minang people lived in Wamena, though some 300 had taken refuge in other places, and 672 remain in Papua.

Some 33 people, including a medical doctor, children, and women, were killed, while at least 77 others sustained injuries due to the riot that had also forced several thousand residents, mostly non-native Papuans, to take refuge in the local military and police compounds.

Most of the dead and 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 provinces, such as West Sumatra and South Sulawesi, to earn a living.

National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo affirmed that the masterminds behind this deadly riot are allegedly members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) separatist group.

On December 2 last year, separatists had killed 31 construction workers in Nduga District, Papua Province, while they were building a bridge in Yigi Sub-district.

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