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Indigenous Peoples of Papua

Government organization is needed to handle Papuan indigenous



Solidarity of Papuan mother traditional merchant in a demonstration to protect their right – Jubi/Zely A

Jayapura, Jubi – Member of Papua House of Representatives on government, law and human rights commission, Laurenzus Kadepa suggested the Papua Provincial Government to establish a local apparatus organization (OPD) or a special agency for handling indigenous Papuans (OAP).

If an OPD is not possible, he said a special agency for dealing with OAP can be established, similar to Health Development Acceleration Unit (UP2KP) which focusing on health issues in Papua.

“I suggest establishing OPDs or specialized agencies in dealing with OAP,” he said to Jubi last weekend.

The tasks of the agency or OPD are among others to list the number of OAP from year to year, how many had died and born. He also suggest the agency would also collect data on percentage of indigenous Papuan’s children who received education from early childhood to college, who study abroad, as well as  access to education and health services.

“Based on those data, the government’s development policy then can be well targeted. The government will take a policy based on the number of OAP because I do not really believe the Papuan People Assembly (MRP) would do that,” he said.

He acknowledged that Special Autonomy Bureau exists in Papua Province, but according to him the scope of their policy is so wide. He would like to make sure that the focus of (new) agency is more to monitor development of OAP from year to year, which is not conducted by the existing agencies.

“Do not take for granted the euphoria of development that makes us forget human development of Papuan. To focus only on development will ignore the number of OAP who’s increasingly diminished,” he said.

Separately, member of Papua House of Representatives Commission V on population, Natan Pahabol said it is impossible to ensure the proper use of special autonomy if the government does not have responsible data on the number of OAP.

“How will the government claim to protect OAP if it does not have accurate data on the number of OAPs? How can the program claimed to be targeted to OAP?” Natan said. (*)

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Indonesian military to complete Trans-Papua Highway



Indonesian soldiers participate in a major military jungle warfare exercise in Poso, in central Sulawesi island, on March 31, 2015. -Photo: AFP

Papua, Jubi – Officials working on a troubled road project in Papua say Indonesia’s military will complete the job this year.

In December, at least 16 Indonesians working on the Trans-Papua Highway in Nduga province were massacred by fighters from the West Papua Liberation Army.

The project was put on hold with the military saying it would take over work on the 4000 kilometre highway.

Combat engineers will reportedly carry out the construction, with hundreds of extra security personnel deployed to the area.

Detik News reports a military battalion has been assigned to the building of the project’s remaining 16 bridges.

Indonesian army engineers had already been working on the Trans-Papua Highway project for a number of years.

Military involvement in the project was cited by the Liberation Army as a central reason for killing the road workers, who were suspected of being soldiers. (*)



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Indonesian soldier dead after attack at Papua airport



Members of the Indonesian Army in Papua. -Photo: AFP

Papua, Jubi – Indonesia’s military has evacuated the body of a soldier killed at an airport in Papua’s Highlands on Monday.

Xinhua reported that gunmen shot at an arriving aircraft carrying soldiers at Mapenduma airport of Nduga district, leaving one soldier dead.

Military spokesman Colonel Muhammad Aidi said when the plane was about to land, it was shot at, and soldiers who were guarding the airport shot back, triggering gunfire exchange.

He said the gunmen retreated and escaped to the forest and the plane landed.

Tempo reported that two soldiers were shot, and hospitalised, with one dying later.

The soldier’s body has been evacuated to Papua’s provincial capital Jayapura,

He is the latest apparent victim in the Highlands conflict between guerilla forces of the West Papua Liberation Army and Indonesian security forces that intensified last year. (*)



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A sad story of education from Papuan outreached and border areas



Pupils at schools in outreached Papua. – Jubi/Dok

Jayapura, Jubi – Education, in Papua today is still a sad story since many schools in outreached or border areas have to struggle to continue their activities even without adequate support from the government.

An educational activist Agustinus Kadepa said the education in Papua, especially in the border and outreached areas, is a complex issue, from the lack of teachers’ attendance to lack of teaching facilities that hampers the learning activities at school.

“This is complicated. Furthermore, we know that a good and qualified educational education could exist when it gains support from many aspects, namely the economy, educational facilities, public awareness of education and so on. Therefore, I think these factors have made many teachers prefer to live in town rather than in those remote areas,” said Kadepa on Thursday (24/1/2019).

Another factor is when teachers apply for the position of civil servants. It has an indirect impact on the number of teachers staying at schools, especially in remote areas. Because most of those teachers would accept the new position as a civil servant and choose to live in town rather than continue teaching in remote areas.

Meanwhile, this problem also considered by the village chief of Kampung Moso, Muara Tami Sub-district of Jayapura Municipality, Agus Watapoa. He said that all the time the primary schools of the Indonesian and PNG border have not a sufficient number of teachers. Therefore, the children are neglected and cannot study at school.

“Teachers who teach in this school village come late to school, at 10 in the morning. So this school is not well running. It’s still open but just not running very well because we only have two classes with a roof,” he said. (*)

Reporter: Agus Pabika

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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