Waterpauw, an indigenous Papuan, spoke about the current situation in the province at the seminar at the invitation of the university’s student executive body.
Papuan separatists are unleashing acts of terror in several districts, but all of Papua is not in the grip of armed violence, Waterpauw observed, quoted by National Police spokesperson Insp.Gen.Argo Yuwono in a press statement that ANTARA received in Jakarta on Tuesday.
"Thus, not all areas in Papua are in the grip of armed violence. The violence just occurs in such districts as Puncak, Intan Jaya, Nduga, and Mimika," Yuwono quoted Waterpauw as saying
Besides sharing views on security issues, Waterpauw also described Papua from historical, cultural, geographical, and sociological perspectives at the seminar, Yuwono said.
Despite its abundant natural resources, Papua province is still facing disparities in regional development and struggling to improve the quality of its human capital, as reflected by its low score on the Human Development Index, Waterpauw said.
ANTARA has earlier reported that Indonesia has been focusing on developing Papua since the Soekarno era and defending it to ensure territorial sovereignty.
The government, which has continued to focus on Papua’s development, has even extended a special autonomy package to Papua and West Papua, paving the way for a significant volume of funds to flow into the two provinces.
The Papua special autonomy law, which has been in force for nearly two decades, will expire in November this year.
Data from the Finance Ministry indicates that during the implementation of the Papua special autonomy law, the government disbursed Rp138.65 trillion towards Papua and West Papua's special autonomy funds and additional funding for infrastructure projects.
Meanwhile, regional transfers and village funds amounting to Rp702.3 trillion were allocated by the government to the two provinces between 2002 and 2021, People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) speaker Bambang Soesatyo has disclosed.
Despite the central government funding, Papua and West Papua are still struggling to improve the quality of their human capital, as reflected by their scores on Indonesia's 2020 Human Development Index, which have remained under the national average of 71.94.
According to Statistics Indonesia (BPS), Papua and West Papua have scored 60.44 and 65.09, respectively, on the 2020 Human Development Index.
BPS data released in February this year has pegged the poverty rates in Papua and West Papua at 26.8 percent and 21.7 percent, respectively. (INE)
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