23 Wamena riot survivors to return to Banten

23 Wamena riot survivors to return to Banten

The Banten provincial administration's humanitarian team members are registering 23 survivors of the recent Wamena rioting who are keen to return to Banten. (ANTARA/Mulyana)

Twenty-three of them are keen to return to Banten while two others remain with their relatives in Sentani, the capital city of Jayapura District, Papua Province
Serang, Banten (ANTARA) - The Banten provincial administration's humanitarian team members have discovered 25 survivors of the recent Wamena rioting, originally from Banten currently taking refuge, and 23 of them have expressed their willingness to return to their hometowns. "Twenty-three of them are keen to return to Banten while two others remain with their relatives in Sentani, the capital city of Jayapura District, Papua Province," the team's head, E Kusmayadi, said in a press statement that ANTARA received here Friday.

The two residents of Banten Province who were affected by the deadly riot in Wamena, the capital city of Jayawijaya District, on September 23 told the team members that they had worked in Sentani, Kusmayadi said.

The Banten provincial administration's humanitarian team members have set up a command post in Sentani in response to Banten Governor Wahidin Halim's order to facilitate the survivors who are keen to return to their hometowns.

The team would send them in two batches. The first batch has 21 survivors, and they are scheduled to depart for Soekarno Hatta International Airport on October 6 while two others will leave on October 7, according to Kusmayadi.

"For those who decide to keep staying in Papua, we are going to give them a sort of compensation fund of Rp5 million," he said, adding that Banten Governor Wahidin Halim would greet the 23 returnees at the airport.

Banten Governor Wahidin Halim has earlier made a solemn promise to evacuate his people residing in Papua and keen to return to their hometowns due to the security risk and trauma following the rioting.

"I have ordered those from the provincial administration's national unity and political affairs and disaster mitigation agency to pick them up in Papua," he informed journalists after attending a meeting in Serang, Banten Province, Tuesday.

As the governor, he will protect his people, including those currently residing in Papua Province, Halim noted.

During the past few weeks, a circle of violence erupted in various cities in the provinces of Papua and West Papua. On September 23, a deadly riot broke out in Wamena during a massive protest, triggered by fake news on a teacher's racist slurs against local students.

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. (INE)
Related news: Banten governor vows evacuation of his people from Papua
Related news: Wamena riot survivors urged to not join exodus


EDITED BY INE

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