Papuan students and people call for an end to violence in Papua

The person in charge of the action, Obanus Kogoya (holding a brown folder) reads out the statement of the Students and People Care for Papua Front at a free speech action at the Mimika student dormitory, Jayapura City, on Tuesday (4/4/2023). - Jubi/Rabin Yarangga

Jayapura, Jubi – The Student and People’s Caring for Papua Front  held a free speech at the Mimika student dormitory in Jayapura City on Tuesday, April 4, 2023. They called on all warring parties to stop all forms of violence and find peaceful solutions to resolve problems in Papua.

The free speech began at 9 a.m. Papua time. It was organized by various students from conflict areas in Papua, including from Ndugama, Intan Jaya, Yahukimo, Puncak, Bintang Mountains, Maybrat, and Sorong. The action was guarded by a number of police officers outside the fence of the student dormitory.

The students unfurled banners and pamphlets inscribed with a number of violations against Papuans that have not been resolved to date, such as the 2003 Bloody Wamena case. Each student representative took turns delivering speeches and reading poems of unrest over the conditions of violence in the Land of Papua.

“Today, conflicts occur everywhere. Massive military operations. Papuans being killed and even mutilated,” said Venus Kabak, a student, in his speech.

Kabak assessed that as long as they were part of Indonesia, Papuans would always live in oppression. According to Kabak, the Papuan referendum is the best solution to end all the injustices experienced by Papuans.

“Our parents are dying everywhere. We are continuously grieving. Living in Indonesia is living in hell. An independent Papua is the solution to all the problems that occur in Papua,” he said.

Another orator Malminus Waker said that currently Papua was not at all okay. He said that all Papuans must speak out for the injustices that befall Indigenous Papuans.

The person in charge of the event, Obanus Kogoya, said that the security approach that the Indonesian government continued to apply did not solve the problem and only victimized Indigenous Papuans. He demanded that the Indonesian government stop sending troops to the Land of Papua.

Kogoya said that the government was responsible for all forms of violence against Papuans. Provincial and district governments are also obliged to provide protection for the Papuan people who are displaced due to the armed conflict between the security forces and the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB).

On this basis, Kogoya said his party urged the Indonesian government to open access for the United Nations Human Rights Commission to investigate cases of violence in Papua, as well as negotiates with the TPNPB to stop all violence in Papua.

“The Indonesian government should immediately negotiate with TPNPB without sacrificing civil society,” he said.

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