16 Jul 2018

West Papuans tired of ongoing political conflict

From , 3:04 pm on 16 July 2018

A West Papuan from Nduga regency says young people are tired of repeated violence triggered by politics in Indonesia's Papua region.

Samuel Tabuni's comment follows a string of deaths in Nduga where Indonesian security forces and the West Papua National Liberation Army have exchanged gunfire in recent weeks.

Speaking from the provincial capital Jayapura, Mr Tabuni says he is in communication with friends and family back in Nduga.

He says thousands have fled from the regency since the violence surged during last month's elections because they are terrified by the Indonesian military operations.

Mr Tabuni told Johnny Blades that for locals, the recent influx of Indonesian security forces has revisited memories from 1996 when Indonesian military commander Prabowo Subianto led special forces into the same area on a campaign to save hostages held by the Free Papua movement commander Kelly Kwalik.

Since the latter part of 2017, fighters with the West Papuan Liberation Army, or TPN, have intensified hostilities with Indonesia's military and police in Tembagapura and its surrounding region in Papua's Highlands.

Since the latter part of 2017, fighters with the West Papuan Liberation Army, or TPN, have intensified hostilities with Indonesia's military and police in Tembagapura and its surrounding region in Papua's Highlands. Photo: RNZ / Suara Wiyaima

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