Background to Kapeso events remain unclear

Background to Kapeso events remain unclear

Abridged in translation by TAPOL

Events in Kapeso should not affect the presidential election Following a visit to West Papua by several senior military officers, the local chief of police said that they hoped that the developments in Kapeso would not influence the holding of the presidential election in July this year. According to the district chief of Mamberamo Raya, the incident had to be handled with force of arms because the group occupying the airstrip were themselves armed.

Now that the security forces had gained control of the location, he claimed that the situation there was back to normal with people going about their daily work.

Asked why the Morning Star Flag was still flying there, he said that this was a matter for the security forces, who were acting with care. Asked what he thought were the reasons why people had taken action to occupy the airstrip was it perhaps that they were unhappy about development in the area, he said that development was going well.

Referring to the woman who has been arrested and interrogated, along with a 14-year-old person, he said that she was thought to be spreading 'misguided teachings'. But she herself has denied this, saying that she had simply been asked to go to the location to say prayers. She also explained that she is not from the area, but hails from Biak. She was in Kapeso because one of her daughters was married to someone in Kapeso. She claimed that for years she had been inspired by the Almighty to go out and pray for people suffering from ill health.