Thousands of Jayawijaya refugees return home

Thousands of Jayawijaya refugees return home

Refugees at the Jayawijaya regional military command station. (ANTARA News Papua/Marius Frisson Yewun)

The number of refugees at the police resort which is almost equal to that at the regional military command has declined to 1,400
Wamena, Papua (ANTARA) - The Jayawijaya district government in Papua province ascertained that thousands of residents who took refuge in different places including the Jayawijaya district military command and police resort stations have returned home.

The number of refugees sheltered at the district military command station declined to 2,500 from 3,500 earlier, Jayawijaya District Head Jhon Richard Banua said in Wamena, capital of Jayawijaya district Friday. "The number of refugees at the police resort which is almost equal to that at the regional military command has declined to 1,400. Only 1,100 refugees are still staying at the GKI Church," he said.

Some of the refugees have returned home after the security personnel assured them of security, he said.

Deadly riots erupted in Wamena during a rally that native Papuan students staged on September 23.

A total of 33 people, including a 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.

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