Wamena, Jubi – The Humanitarian Special Committee of Papua House of Representatives visit Nduga refugees on Monday (9/3/2020) in the churchyard of Kingmi Church in Elekma, Jayawijaya Regency. During their recess time, the parliament members want to confirm the information declaring no more Nduga residents refuge to other districts within the Central Highland Mountainous region.
Veriana Wakerkwa, the chairwoman of Humanitarian Special Committee of Papuan House of Representatives, says together with two committee members, she immediately comes to Wamena when heard information about Nduga refugees. Their visit aims to observe as well as to update the public about the current situation of refugees. It finds that refugees urgently need education and health services.
“As people’s representative in the parliament, we do not only want to see but also take this experience to the parliament to discuss with the rest of the committee members and relevant stakeholders to complete the data of refugees,” she says.
Meanwhile, the committee vice-chairman Namantus Gwijangge says the parliament would not intervene the state’s statement declaring there are no refugees from Nduga, notably settled in Jayawijaya.
The most important is, he further says, the committee only wants to confirm the fact that Nduga refugees ever existed despite now they are staying with their relatives in some locations in Jayawijaya.
“Especially for refugees’ data in Jayawijaya, we found that they are more than five thousand. We have their detail information, including the name of family head and members, current address and regional origin,” he says.
Furthermore, he says in terms of education, the problem is students cannot go to school. “We have talked with Nduga Regional Government, in particular, the Regional Education Office about the possibility to bring the students back to their old school. It needs careful planning to do so.”
Therefore, he suggests both provincial and regional governments pay attention to refugees to avoid the impression that the government has neglected them, especially school-aged children.
“This humanitarian committee was established to build peace in this land. Our purpose is to create peacebuilding among such complicated existing issues. Therefore, it needs collaboration with relevant stakeholders, including military and police, to consult with the community or any parties, to discuss with provincial and regional governments about the future of refugees,” he says. (*)
Reporter: Islami Adisubrata
Editor: Pipit Maizier