Wamena riot survivors are still traumatized: Wiranto

Wamena riot survivors are still traumatized: Wiranto

Coordinating Minister for Legal, Political and Security Affairs Wiranto (center)(ANTARA FOTO/Zuhdiar Laeis)

Most importantly, we can help neutralize the trauma and guarantee the safety and security of all people. That has even been the guarantee of local customary figures and leaders
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The survivors of the recent brutal killings of innocent civilians in Wamena, Jayawijaya District, Papua Province, on September 23 still experience trauma and anxiety, a top Indonesian security minister has admitted. Due to their trauma and anxiety, many of them have asked the authorities to evacuate them to Jayapura, the capital city of Papua, or their hometowns outside the province, Coordinating Minister for Legal, Political and Security Affairs Wiranto said.

"Most importantly, we can help neutralize the trauma and guarantee the safety and security of all people. That has even been the guarantee of local customary figures and leaders," he said at his office here Friday.

The local leaders had appealed to the non-native Papuans in Wamena who are generally traders and suppliers of basic needs to continue their normal lives, and not to leave the city, Wiranto said.

"So, it can be imagined if they join an exodus, the district's economic engine may have been stuck. In other words, all community members need each other," he said.

Wiranto also called on the people in Wamena and its outskirts to maintain a sense of security. He believes that the refugees from the Wamena rioting will return to the city once the condition returns to normal.

However, the government should guarantee the safety and security of everyone, especially those who still experience the trauma of the assaults by members of the armed criminal groups and Free Papua Organisation (OPM), he added.

Deadly riots erupted in Wamena 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 in the riot that 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 were assaulted 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.

On October 1, Papua Police Chief Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw visited the survivors of the deadly Wamena riot, currently sheltered at Al Aqsa Mosque in Sentani, the capital city of Jayapura District.

Waterpauw requested them to return to Wamena as the police would guarantee their security.

"Please get back to Wamena since we will safeguard and protect the security of all residents," Waterpauw told 115 displaced residents of Wamena taking refuge at the Al Aqsa Mosque.

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 in Wamena on September 23.

Several survivors 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 safeguard against all forms of disturbances," Waterpauw, who has officially headed the Papua police headquarters since September 30, emphasized.

Normalcy has gradually been restored in Wamena, he added. (INE)
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EDITED BY INE

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