Timika, Papua (ANTARA) - Papua Police Chief Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw confirmed on Friday that the community order and security situation throughout Papua stayed under control before President Joko Widodo's (Jokowi’s) scheduled work visit to this easternmost province.

"In general, as of this Friday, the situation remains peaceful and under control. This is thanks to the support and cooperation of all friends on the ground, top brass, regional government officials, and community leaders. All contribute to this peaceful and secure condition in Papua," he stated.

Waterpauw arrived in Timika, the capital city of Mimika District, Papua Province, along with Commander of the XVII Cenderawasih Regional Military Command Major General Herman Asaribab to welcome Home Minister Tito Karnavian and his entourage that arrived on Friday afternoon.

Waterpauw admitted that he and his colleague, Major General Herman Asaribab, will report about the security situation in Papua before the president's visit to Karnavian, who will arrive in Timika along with Indonesian Military (TNI) Commander Air Chief Marshall Hadi Tjahjanto and acting Police Chief Commissioner General Ari Dono Sukmato.

On Saturday morning, Karnavian and his entourage are scheduled to fly to Wamena, the capital city of Jayawijaya District, before joining President Jokowi's entourage in Jayapura, the capital city of Papua Province, he noted.

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Papua and West Papua have come under the radar of both Indonesian and foreign media after a spate of violence broke out in several parts of these two Indonesian provinces in August and September 2019.

On August 28, violence erupted in Deiyai District, some 500 kilometers away from Jayapura, resulting in the deaths of an army soldier and two civilians.

The indigenous Papuan residents of Jayapura again held protests on August 29, as they vented their ire over the alleged racist behavior against their Papuan compatriots in Surabaya, but their rally then turned violent.

On September 23, a deadly riot had erupted in Wamena, the capital city of Jayawijaya District, Papua Province, killing 33 civilians, including a senior medical doctor, who had served the native Papuans for 15 years.

In response to this recent Wamena rioting, a Papuan priest has appealed to Jokowi to hold dialog with the representatives of all Papuan community groups to find solutions to crucial problems in the province.

The Papuan people are keen to hold a discussion within the spirit of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, as the central government had done in Aceh Province, Esmon Welilo, a priest and concurrently chairman of the Interreligious Harmony Forum (FKUB), stated.

"We do hope that the dialog would be held during his second leadership term," he remarked.

Welilo drew attention to the fact that Jokowi is the first Indonesian president to have undertaken 12 working visits to Papua Province, including three to Wamena, the capital city of Jayawijaya District.

Under Jokowi's leadership, it is time for the central government to hold a dialog to seek comprehensive solutions to the problems in Papua, he noted, expressing belief that all Papuans would continue to support the government's programs.

The call for holding a dialog with President Jokowi had also been voiced by West Papua Governor Dominggus Mandacan on September 12, 2019.

Chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU)-Jayapura Chapter KH Kahar Yelipele has appealed to President Jokowi to rebuild houses and kiosks that rioters set on fire and vandalized during the recent violence in Jayapura and Wamena.

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Translator: Evarianus S, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
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