We will continue to pay off our obligation, and we have affirmed to the residents that we will pay for customary lands used as alternative access from Yabaso to Nendali
Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - The Jayapura district government has reached a compromise with customary communities regarding customary rights of around four hectares of land used as alternative access for the PON XX National Games in Nedali Village, Jayapura, Papua.

"We will continue to pay off our obligation, and we have affirmed to the residents that we will pay for customary lands used as alternative access from Yabaso to Nendali. We will disburse Rp1 billion (around US$70 thousand) for the first instalment of the payment today," Secretary of the Jayapura District Administration Hanna Hikoyabi said here on Tuesday.

Hikoyabi informed that the regional authority and communities holding the customary rights over the land had reached a compromise on the arrangement and inked the agreement on Monday (Dec 20, 2021).

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"The eight points on the agreement elucidated the payment arrangement. We are expressing gratitude for the customary communities' cooperation while also expressing apologies for any inconvenience that they have endured," the regional secretary affirmed.

Hikoyabi admitted that precarious negotiation with customary communities almost strained the process, with even one community filing a complaint with the local court to seek adjudication about the payment.

As a compromise on the payment arrangement was reached, the final 50-percent payment will be disbursed in the first quarter of 2022 following the first instalment that the authority will disburse today, he confirmed.

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Meanwhile, the customary community leader of Ifar Besar Village, Wiliam Yoku, stated that the community was satisfied with the ongoing payment process, and the 12 customary communities, whose land is affected by the road construction, have indicated their agreement to the compromise.

"Regarding payment for the customary lands, the customary communities have sealed the payment agreement with the regional government. The final instalment will be paid off next year," Yoku stated.

With around four hectares of land used for the new road construction work and three hectares of land for dock construction, both sides have agreed to seal the land price at Rp1.6 million (around US$112) per square meter of land, he stated.

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Moreover, Everly Taime, who earlier led a public protest in front of the Jayapura District Head Office on Monday, expressed hope that the authority would address any issue, particularly the customary land payment, promptly.

"We hope we need not remind the authority about our rights by protesting, as we are not accustomed to that way. What we are demanding is our customary rights. Hence, we expect the authority to abide by existing regulations," Taime said.

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Translator: Hendrina Dian K, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
Copyright © ANTARA 2021