Police stop tribal war in Tolikara, Papua

Police stop tribal war in Tolikara, Papua

, 11 July 2010


Police in Tolikara district on Saturday afternoon succeeded in ending a tribal war that erupted in the wee hours of the day, and are now in full control of the situation.

Papua provincial police spokesman Senior Commissioner Wachyono confirmed a violent communal clash had happened in Tolikara district but according to the latest information from the local police, the hostilities had stopped, and police had gained full control over the situation.

"True, there was a clash in Tolikara that lasted from dawn until around 9 am Eastern Indonesian Standard Time (WIT). However, I have been informed that the situation there is now under control," Wachyono said.

The conflict was triggered by a family quarrel and violence, he said.

Apius Wenda, a member of the Papuan indigenous people, had a quarrel with his wife, Betina Wendik, and beat her up on Friday. Betina later ran away to her relatives` house and complained about the manhandling by her husband.

The wife`s relatives could not accept the fact, and retaliated by assaulting Apius Wenda when he came to pick up his wife.

The fighting among the relatives eventually escalated into a communal war.

According to Wachyono, about 75 people were wounded by arrows, and one by an axe. Three of them were now in critical condition due to severe injuries and had been transferred to Wamena, Jayawijaya by a plane.

According to the latest information, the situation was under control and the two warring communities had withdrawn to their respective homes.

The security officers have also seized evidence in the form of six cleavers, 13 knives, 50 arrows, and six bows.

Tribal wars still happen from time to time in Indonesia`s eastern most island of Irian (Papua) where indigenous people are still living in very traditional ways.