Papua police chief appeals to refugees to return to Wamena

Papua police chief appeals to refugees to return to Wamena

Papua Police Chief Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw visited survivors of the deadly Wamena riot, currently taking refuge at Al Aqsa Mosque in Sentani, Jayapura District, on Tuesday (Oct 1, 2019) (ANTARA Photo/Evarukdijati)

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - Papua Police Chief Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw has requested survivors of the deadly Wamena riot, currently sheltered at Al Aqsa Mosque in Sentani, Jayapura District, to return home as police security would be guaranteed.

"Please get back to Wamena since we safeguard and protect the security of all residents," Waterpauw told the displaced residents of Wamena taking refuge at Al Aqsa Mosque in Sentani, the capital city of Jayapura District, on Tuesday.

Waterpauw was sympathetic in his approach to them, stating that he fully understood the trauma and anxiety experienced by the survivors of the recent brutal killings of innocent civilians that took place in Wamena on September 23. Several survivors of the Wamena riot fled in a mass exodus over trepidation and concern.

"However, please do not allow fear and trauma to linger too long within you since the security personnel are ready to secure against all forms of disturbances," Waterpauw, who has officially headed the Papua police headquarters since Sept 30, emphasized.

At present, normalcy has gradually been restored in Wamena, the capital city of Jayawijaya District, Papua Province.

The Al Aqsa Mosque is currently accommodating 115 Wamena residents displaced by the recent killing spree. Several refugees said they have yet to return to Wamena.

"My family and I are keen to get back to our hometown (outside Papua) to heal from our painful trauma," Fuad, a resident of Wamena for two decades, stated.

In response to the Wamena riot, the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI)-Padang City Chapter has appealed to the government to ensure the delivery of true justice to and ascertain the safety and security of Indonesians residing in Papua for a living.

"The state must immediately be present to protect all citizens and fairly enforce laws in Papua," Head of the MUI-Padang Chapter Duski Samad informed ANTARA while commenting on the recent brutal killings of 33 innocent civilians in the city on Sept 23.

Samad noted that the Papua governor had tendered his apology over the human tragedy though it was yet insufficient and must also be followed by the prevalence of true justice and law enforcement against those who killed the innocent civilians.

Wamena's recent human tragedy should be handled through a fair law enforcement mechanism in line with Indonesia's legal systems rather than merely being solved politically, he stated, expressing condemnation to the barbaric killings of the innocent civilians.

"We condemn those who have committed this inhuman act of crime, and we demand the state’s presence to protect its citizens," he added.

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

A total of 33 people, including a medical doctor, were killed, while at least 77 others sustained injuries due to the riot that had also compelled several thousand residents, mostly non-native Papuans, to take shelter in the local military and police compounds.

The dead and wounded comprised non-native Papuans, who had faced assault by rioters brandishing machetes and arrows. Several of them had migrated to Papua from their hometowns in provinces, such as West Sumatra and South Sulawesi, to earn a living. Related news: Papua Governor offers security assurance to native, non-native people
Related news: 31 dead in Wamena rioting: Health Ministry


EDITED BY INE

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