6 Sep 2012

Indonesian lawmakers set up working committees on Papua

6:37 pm on 6 September 2012

Indonesia's House of Representatives has set up working committees to address the problematic security situation in Papua and West Papua provinces.

The two committees have been formed as a follow-up to a recent visit by legislators to the two provinces in response to ongoing violence in the region, including a string of killings that police attribute to unidentified gunmen.

The killings have been linked by officials to Papuan separatists, but human rights activists say the military is responsible.

The Jakarta Globe reports the chairman of the House Commission on foreign and security affairs, Mahfudz Sidik, as describing the problems in Papua as a ticking time bomb.

Mahfudz says they have identified several fundamental unresolved issues, chiefly the lack of trust among Papuans toward central and local governments.

He says the committees will help hasten dialogue to address the underlying causes of the secessionist sentiment in Papua.