We have been handling 11 suspects of the August rioting case
Sorong, W Papua (ANTARA) - The Sorong police in West Papua are investigating the case of vandalism and attack on Domine Eduard Osok Airport during a riot in August 2019, its Chief Adjunct Sen. Coms. Mariochristy P. S. Siregar stated.

Police investigators continue to focus efforts to trace those allegedly responsible for assaulting and vandalizing the airport's terminal facilities, while individuals involved in other violent acts had faced questioning, Siregar remarked in Sorong City on Friday.

"We have been handling 11 suspects in the August rioting case. In the near future, their case will have been submitted to the Sorong city prosecutor’s office to be processed at the district court," he noted.

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

On August 28, violence had 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 appealed to President Joko Widodo (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 in tune with 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 are optimistic that the dialog would be held during his second leadership term," he remarked.

President Jokowi and Vice President Ma'ruf Amin officially took their oaths of office on October 20, 2019, and the issues of Papua have become one of the serious challenges that the Jokowi-Amin administration should immediately address.

Proper handling is the need of the hour since a circle of violence is still unbreakable there, and an ongoing endeavor to internationalize it is quite apparent.

Attempts to internationalize the issues of Papua, especially human rights abuses and calls for self-determination, are not merely made by non-state actors but also state actors, as revealed by what Vanuatu has often done at the UN General Assembly.

The circle of violence, chiefly triggered and sponsored by notorious armed Papuan separatists through their ongoing campaigns of killing innocent civilians and members of Indonesian military and police, has yet to end.

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Translator: Ernes BK, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
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