9 Aug 2019

West Papua regent calls for withdrawal of state forces

6:06 pm on 9 August 2019

A regent in Indonesia's West Papua is calling on the government to withdraw military and police forces.

Helicopter over Nduga, July 2018

Helicopter over Nduga, July 2018 Photo: TPNPB

It comes as local officials estimate tens of thousands of civilians have fled troubled Nduga regency amid an escalating war there.

Nduga regent Yairus Gwijangge on Monday demanded state forces leave Nduga, where they have been battling the West Papua Liberation Army for months.

CNN reported Mr Gwijangge conveyed the demand to Indonesia's parliamentary speaker, who was asked to pass it on to President Joko Widodo.

Mr Gwijangge says since December Nduga has been almost entirely emptied of people.

An Nduga regency official said on Sunday that 45,000 people have fled the conflict, more than half of the regency's population.

And an aid group said last week at least 182 people of the displaced had died of famine and disease.


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