Jayapura, Jubi – A clash occurred between residents and security forces in Sinakma, Wamena District, Jayawijaya Regency, Mountainous Papua Province on Thursday, February 23, 2023, triggered by child abduction.
Jayawijaya Police Chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Hesman Napitupulu said the number of houses, kiosks and other buildings that were burned during the clash was still uncertain as data collection was still being carried out.
“The number of victims is still not known as well. Rescue efforts are still being carried out by bringing victims to the hospital,” said Napitupulu.
He explained that the problem in Sinakma began when the people of Sapalek Village saw people carrying a child in a car and suspected them of kidnapping.
This was spread to the wider community, which angered the residents. Police came and asked them to resolve the problem at the police station but the community refused.
When the police were about to return, the residents immediately attacked the police, leading to the burning of other residents’ houses.
“We will take the next step to meet with the village leaders to prevent a similar situation occurring in the future. I ask the residents not to be provoked by things that turn the situation into chaos,” said the police chief.
Meanwhile, Jayawijaya Deputy Regent Marthin Yogobi emphasized that the problem did not entirely occur in his area. “The location of the clash is only in Sinakma, not Jayawijaya Regency as a whole,” Yogobi said.
“The military and police are working hand in hand to resolve the situation and consolidate all data of victims. Therefore, we hope that the community will not be provoked by rumors. In general, Jayawijaya Regency is safe and under control,” he said. (*)