21 Nov 2011

Military the biggest problem in Papua, says Indonesian Institute of Sciences

7:37 pm on 21 November 2011

The Indonesian Institute of Sciences has identified the heavy presence of the military as the main problem hampering development in Papua region.

The Institute has been lobbying the government to enter dialogue with Papuans to settle grievances, and says chief among the grievances are human rights abuses by the military.

The Institute's Muridan Widjojo says the military is too often linked to conflict in Papua.

He says the ongoing strike at the large Freeport mine in Papua is also complicated by the involvement of the military and its rivalry with police for control of the area.

"Now in Jakarta we put more and more pressure on the central government to evaluate the policy of deploying soldiers to Papua. It becomes too excessive and it becomes the main problem of Papua now, and it creates a kind of political stalemate in Papua. And it has for so long undermined law and enforcement in Papua."

Muridan Widjojo