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Indigenous Peoples of Papua

People are disappointed with palm oil companies in Muting



People of Muting district in the opening ceremony of Maria Cave few days ago – Jubi/Frans L Kobun

Merauke, Jubi – People in Muting Village, Muting District, Merauke Regency-Papua expressed their disappointment because of land clearing for oil palm plantation, which is not consulted with local people as the owners of communal land rights.

This was revealed by the Head of Muting Village, Roberthus Mahuze to Jubi, Monday (May 29). It said, when their first entry the company promised to hire customary owners once it is operating. But in reality only a few people are employed.

“Frankly, we are very disappointed with companies that promise to hire indigenous people. We can count by our fingers of how many people work there, “said Mahuze without mentioning the name of the company.

According to him, the company should not deny the agreement that has been made when the company plans to open the land for the development of oil palm.

Asked for payment of compensation, Mahuze admitted there was no real compensation, only what it’s called “a concern” payment. It is in accordance to the company’s agreement with customary rights owners.

It is expected that in the future the company will not ‘turn a blind eye’ to indigenous Papuans in Muting. Since they are the owners of customary rights and are obliged to be given the opportunity to work.

Another resident, Yulius Gebze said similar thing. “Yes, there is lack of good attention from the company to the owners of customary rights. So there is a sense of dissatisfaction,” he said.

“It is true that since the company entered for the first time, there has been an agreement for the customary rights owner to be involved. But during their operation only a few people are accepted. While others left behind,” he 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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