"For the government, the existence of Papua, both Papua Province and West Papua Province, as part of the Unitary State of Indonesia, is final. There is no other way, no negotiation for independence, for separation," Mahfud clarified at a virtual press conference here on Thursday.
Mahfud made the statement in connection with the conflict between security personnel and the criminal armed group in Intan Jaya District of Papua in the past few days.
Violence usually erupted in the run-up to the anniversary of the Papuan independence movement on December 1.
"Now it occurred again, as there are people, who want to separate. They work in cooperation with foreign provocateurs or make their own movement, and we have to stop and control them since it is against the law," the minister emphasized.
Mahfud drew attention to a referendum, approved by the UN General Assembly, in Resolution No. 2504 that had taken place in Papua in 1969.
"Since then, there is no other way for Papua, for certain parties in Papua, to demand independence," Mahfud explained.
Speaking in connection with the armed conflict in Intan Jaya that claimed four lives -- two military personnel, one civilian and a priest -- Mahfud affirmed that the authority will set up a joint team to investigate the case.
"The government will establish a joint investigation team that can objectively look into the case to avoid controversy (around the conflict)," he added.
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