TNI AU Hercules plane transports 88 refugees back to Wamena

TNI AU Hercules plane transports 88 refugees back to Wamena

Commander of the Silas Papare Airbase Commodore Tri Bowo ANTARA/Evarukdijati.

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - A total of 88 people, who had fled Wamena after the Sept-23 rioting, were flown home aboard an Indonesian Air Force (TNI AU) Hercules plane to the capital of Jayawijaya District, Papua Province, on Thursday.

Most refugees constituted children and women earlier accommodated at different places in Jayapura district and city, Commander of the Silas Papare Airbase Commodore Tri Bowo stated.

On Wednesday, 87 refugees were also flown from the airbase to Wamena.

Responding to queries of any other refugees left to be flown home to Wamena, Bowo admitted to yet awaiting a report from the association or accommodation places where they are sheltered.

He called on refugees keen on returning home to Wamena by plane to register with the operations base of the airbase.

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"Please come to the operations base to register yourselves. The airbase will facilitate the air transportation of refugees to Wamena," he stated.

Just one Hercules plane is on standby to transport refugees to Wamena since the other one has returned to Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi Province.

On a separate occasion on Thursday, Chief of the National Road Development Board (BPJN) XVII in Jayapura, Osman Marbun remarked that only 44 of the 143 residents of North Sumatra had returned home to Wamena.

Some 238 survivors of the recent Wamena rioting will be sent home to North Sumatra aboard a PT Pelni ship.

The Wamena rioting has caused misery to scores of Indonesians. Not only did the incident claim the lives of 33 innocent civilians but it also compelled several thousand survivors to take refuge by abandoning their burned and destroyed properties.

In the aftermath of the incident, several survivors of the Wamena rioting, originally from provinces, such as West Sumatra, South Sulawesi, East Java, and Banten, returned to their hometowns.

Papua Police Chief Inspector General Rudolf A. Rodja claimed that the rioting was incited by hoaxes spread through social media platforms that fueled ire among the residents.