Armed conflict in Papua getting worse, says Usman Hamid

Armed conflict
Screenshot, Executive Director of Amnesty International Indonesia, Usman Hamid as a speaker at a discussion online-Jubi/Arjuna

Jayapura, Jubi – Executive Director of Amnesty International Indonesia Usman Hamid said the armed conflict in Papua between the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) and Indonesian security forces has gotten more alarming and increasingly difficult to control. Violence and alleged human rights violations continue to occur against civilians and people working in the humanitarian field.

“In the last 15 years, there has been excessive use of force and security facilities, including in terms of legal processes. This method is often used when dealing with large conflicts,” said Usman Hamid during an online public discussion “Bloody Wamena: Is There an Element of Humanitarian Crimes” on Tuesday, March 14, 2023.

During the mass riot in Wamena recently on February 23, Usman said, there was excessive and unnecessary use of firearms by the security forces.

“The riot was triggered by an allegation of child abduction. There was misunderstanding among residents. The police’s method to resolve the problem need to be evaluated because a dialog was held in between the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator. It was irrelevant and can potentially create new problems,” he said.

Usman Hamid added that with the excessive use of weapons in Papua, it was increasingly difficult to find common ground to resolve the armed conflict there.

He said the state needed to take serious steps right now because too many lives have been sacrificed in Papua because of the unprofessionalism of the security forces.

“Therefore, the armed conflict in Papua must immediately find a solution. For example, through peaceful dialog,” he said. (*)

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