Papuans beg Jakarta to curb growing violence

Papuans beg Jakarta to curb growing violence

UCANews, 9 December 2010
By: Konradus Epa, Jakarta

Reverend Karel Philip Erari (extreme right) speaks at a press conference in Jakarta
Papuan religious leaders have urged the Indonesian government to deal with cases of violence after the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) issued a report highlighting the worsening situation in the province.

Cases of violence in the predominantly Protestant province increased by 70 percent, majority of which are reportedly committed by security personnel, according to the commission.

“I agree with the report. I continually observe the violence in Papua,” said co-chairman of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia (PGI) Reverend Karel Philip Erari.

The reported cases were only the tip on the iceberg, the Protestant leader said. He suggested that the government should muster enough political will and take a cultural approach in dealing with the issue. “It is not about military operations,” he added.

According to Johanes, a Catholic leader, the issue should be resolved through a dialogue between Papuans and security personnel. “If it is not conducted, violence will happen again,” he said.

Meanwhile, the deputy head of Komnas HAM Papua, Mathius Murib, told reporters at a Dec. 7 press conference in Jakarta that the highest number of violence cases was recorded this year.

“Most perpetrators are reportedly military and police,” he said.