2 Oct 2019

Waterpauw back as Papua police chief visits Wamena

6:24 am on 2 October 2019

The new Police Chief in West Papua has visited hundreds of people displaced by deadly violence in Wamena.

According to Indonesian authorities, at least 26 people died in riots in the Highlands town on Monday last week.

Paulus Waterpauw, a West Papuan, is back in the role of Papua Police Chief after a hiatus from the job of almost two and a half years.

Freshly reappointed, Inspector General Waterpauw wasted little time heading to Wamena where a protest by local Papuan students over alleged racism tuned violent last week.

As security forces tried to disperse the crowd, buildings and businesses in the town were torched by unruly public elements.

Some of the dead are reported to have perished in the inferno. Police have blamed the unrest on hoax information.

People displaced and traumatised by the unrest, along with a number of public servants seeking to be transferred from Wamena, have sought temporary shelter in government facilities.

The police chief met a number of them to hear their stories and has made assurances that their safety is a priority.

Unrest broke out in Wamena on 23 September.

Unrest broke out in Wamena on 23 September. Photo: Supplied