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wp Churches push for Jakarta-Papua dialogue

February 17, 2011

JUBI: 15 February 2011

Speaking on behalf of the United Baptist Churches in Papua, the Rev. Socrates Sofyan Yoman said since it is clear that OTSUS (Special Autonomy) in Papua is a failure, they will be pressing for a dialogue between the Papuan people and the central government, mediated by an international party.

‘A dialogue is the dignified way forward for the two sides,’ he said.

He said that the implementation of the OTSUS law had only resulted in oppression and discrimination of the indigenous Papuan people while promoting the interests of the political elite in their efforts to press forward with their mission to strengthen the Indonesian state in the pursuance of its claim that Papua is an integral part of Indonesia.

‘We have repeatedly said that we reject OTSUS and will not compromise on this, unless the government is willing to enter into dialogue, mediated by a neutral body,’ he said.

‘We cannot sleep at night for thinking about the ever-worsening sufferings of the Papuan people and we will continue to struggle for this with our last drop of blood.’

He said that he was currently visiting Jakarta to undertake diplomatic efforts in favour of dialogue.

‘We are pressing for dialogue as the way to solve the root of the Papuan problem and so as to ensure that the conflict with the Indonesian state does not continue endlessly, as well as for our mutual benefit,’ he said.

[A photograph alongside this item includes three Papuan leaders, Dr Beny Giay, Socratez Yoman and a third person who face we cannot identify.]

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