Jakarta (ANTARA) - Responding to the recent developments in Papua and West Papua, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives (DPR), Azis Syamsuddin, has urged the government, military, and police to maintain state authority and safety in the region.

Following Papuan separatist leader Benny Wenda’s “act of treason” against the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, the state’s authority and the safety of the state and its entire people can be maintained by enforcing laws objectively and measurably in the region, he said here on Thursday.

On December 1, 2020, Wenda had declared a so-called "interim government" in West Papua.

In response to this maneuver, Azis Syamsuddin said the House backs the government's efforts to enforce the law against those responsible for violating it.

Earlier, Hikmahanto Juwana, professor of international law at the University of Indonesia, had urged the government to ignore Wenda's maneuvers regarding the "interim government" in West Papua.

If needed, the Indonesian police can initiate legal action against the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (UMLWP) leader for the move that can be regarded as an act of treason against the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, he said earlier.

Juwana argued that the "interim government" that Wenda declared on December 1, 2020 has no foundation under international law because it is unclear for which state it has been created, where it exists, and when the state's creation was declared.

The separatist group's loyalists have declared an "interim government" within the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia's sovereign territory, he noted.

He further argued that the creation of a state comes first under international law. In this regard, the existence of a state comes first, followed by a government, he said.

Therefore, it would be absurd if the so-called interim government is declared, but it is not clear which state is recognized by the international community, Juwana, who is also rector of the General Ahmad Yani University (Unjani), stressed.

The support shown by several Pacific countries for the UMLWP cannot be taken as a yardstick owing to their insignificance as recognizing states, he argued.

According to Juwana, it would be better for the Indonesian Government to ignore the UMLWP maneuver, which came on a day supporters of the separatist group claim as West Papua's independence day.

ANTARA has earlier reported on the criminal record of Benny Wenda, who is currently living in Oxford city, United Kingdom.

Reports have claimed he believes in the use of violence to achieve his political goals and that there is evidence linking him with several cases of armed violence in Papua.

In the Wamena riot, which erupted in September, 2019, the Indonesian police had accused Wenda of being involved in the spreading of fake news to instigate native Papuans.

The riot which, according to local media, was instigated by hoaxes regarding a teacher's racist slur against native Papuan students left several civilians dead and several others injured.

The alleged masterminds of the deadly riot were reported to be members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). (INE)

Related news: Benny Wenda has no authority to declare independence: Lemhanas

Related news: Govt must ignore Benny Wenda's maneuver: UI law professor


Translator: Imam B, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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