Collective calls for humanitarian ceasefire in Papua, urging immediate peaceful dialogue

humanitarian ceasefire
A number of national figures signed the "Call for Peace in the Land of Papua" in Jakarta, Thursday (9/11/2023). - Jubi/Aryo Wisanggeni G

Jakarta, Jubi – Several prominent figures in Indonesia issued a collective plea for a humanitarian ceasefire to stop the ongoing armed conflict in Papua.

In Jakarta on Thursday (9/11/2023), Gomar Gultom, the General Chairperson of the Association of Churches in Indonesia (PGI) announced several notable signatories including Sinta Nuriyah of Nahdlatul Ulama (Former First Lady of Indonesia 1999-2001, Wife of KH Abdurrahman Wahid), Yanuarius Theofilus Maatopai You (Bishop of Jayapura), Siprianus Hormat (Chairman of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference), Marzuki Darusman (Former Attorney General of Indonesia during the presidency of KH Abdurrahman Wahid), and Alissa Wahid (Chairperson of the Nahdlatul Ulama Executive Board).

Franz Magnis Suseno, Makarim Wibisono, and Abdul Mu’ti, though did not attend the event, were declared as supporters of the Call for Peace in Papua.

The call for peace was prompted by the signatories’ reflections on global challenges, including the crises in Ukraine and Palestine, emphasizing the need to address domestic issues.

“On a different scale, the humanitarian crisis that we witness in the world can also be seen closely in the Land of Papua,” said Gultom.

The call underscores that only a peaceful resolution can prevent loss of life and foster prosperity, justice, and well-being in Papua. The signatories expressed deep concern over the armed conflict, urging the Indonesian government and all parties involved, including armed civilian groups, the ULMWP (United Liberation Movement for West Papua), traditional leaders, and Indigenous Papuans, to engage in dialogue and take immediate steps toward peace.

The signatories called for building trust as a crucial first step, urging state officials to collaborate with all segments of society to address the humanitarian crisis and initiate dialogue for a peaceful resolution. They emphasized the importance of dialogue facilitated by trusted, impartial mediators, including national figures and Papuan leaders.

Alissa Wahid highlighted the dire consequences of armed conflict, including hunger, displacement, and increasing casualties, and emphasized the need for the government to engage with diverse parties to find a new approach for resolution.

Efforts to initiate a humanitarian pause in Papua were previously undertaken through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by ULMWP, the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas), and the Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) in Geneva, Switzerland, on November 11, 2022. However, the process faced setbacks after Komnas HAM revoked it on February 9, 2023.

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