Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - Papua Governor Lukas Enembe has announced that he and Home Minister Tito Karnavian have agreed on a planned regional division in Papua based on customary territories.

"When the regional division comes true, it is expected to be followed by an acceleration of regional development and financial policies," he said in a press statement that ANTARA received here on Saturday.

The Papuan administration has been proposing the regional division based on customary territories to the central government since 2014 to help accelerate regional development in the easternmost province, Enembe pointed out.

There are five customary territories in Papua, he said, adding that the regional division must be followed up with accelerated development, as expected by the central government.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Tito Karnavian said he met with Governor Enembe to discuss matters related to the planned regional division in Papua.

Governor Enembe has proposed that the regional division be carried out by referring to Papua's customary territories, Karnavian informed.

"I have explained that the House of Representatives (DPR) is currently deliberating three (new) provinces. They are South Papua, Central Papua, and Pegunungan Tengah. The proposal to establish a southwest province will very much likely be deliberated this year while its division will be implemented next year," he said.

The proposal to establish North Papua province would also be accommodated in the House's National Legislation Program (Prolegnas) list, which will be deliberated in 2023, he added.

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Last year, Minister Karnavian had highlighted "a specialty" pertaining to public aspirations in the Merauke, Boven Digoel, Mappi, and Asmat districts of Papua province regarding the creation of South Papua Province.

Karnavian had made the statement during a working visit along with Security Minister Mahfud MD to Sota sub-district near the Indonesia-Papua New Guinea border on September 12, 2021.

The government had, therefore, decided to revise the Papua Special Autonomy Law, according to Karnavian, who earlier headed Papua police headquarters before being promoted as Indonesia's national police chief and then home minister.

Karnavian further called for accelerated development in Papua so that the regional division for creating South Papua Province, with Merauke as its capital city, becomes inevitable.

ANTARA last year reported on the ratification of the bill amending the Papua Special Autonomy Law No. 21 of 2001 by Indonesia's House of Representatives (DPR).

The bill that the House members enacted during a plenary session on July 15, 2021, accommodates 18 revised chapters and two new chapters, according to head of the House's Special Committee for Amending the Papua Special Autonomy Law, Komarudin Watubun.

The enacted bill accommodates the need to regulate the privileges of indigenous Papuans in the political, education, health, labor, and economic sectors, as well as supports customary communities, he affirmed.

It offers more room for native Papuans to get involved in politics and in organizations, such as the Papuan People's Assembly (MRP) and Papua legislative councils (DPRK) in districts and cities.

Under the law, at least 250 seats will be reserved for native Papuans at the district- and city-level Papua legislative councils (DPRK), Watubun said. At the same time, 30 percent of DPRK seats will be reserved for native Papuan women, he added.

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Translator: Qadri P, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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