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Demiliterization is the essential condition for dialogue in Papua

February 19, 2015

Statement by the Executive Director of LP3BH
19 February 2015

If President Joko Widodo wishes to enter into dialogue with all
components of the people of the Land of Papua, as he has indicated,
there must first be a reduction in the number of military personnel in
the region.

As a lawyer and defender of human rights in the Land of Papua, I
think that this is an essential condition for dialogue to take place.
And the place to start this would be in those regions where conflict
is still widespread in the Central Highlands and along the border
between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea as well as in the regions
surrounding the massive Freeport mine in Tembagapura and Timika.

This would help to create a peaceful atmosphere and lessen the
feelings of terror and anxiety among the Papuan people, so that
dialogue could take place in an atmosphere of peace.

As the Executive-Director of the Institute of Research,
Investigation and Development of Human Rights – LP3BH – and recipient
of the John Humphrey Freedom Award in 2006, I urge President Joko
Widodo as Supreme Commander of the Indonesian Armed Forces to cancel
his decision to create more territorial regions [KODAM] in the Land
of Papua.

All groups of the community in the Land of Papua, including the
religious organisations, should press for this.

There is no reason for any increase in the number of Kodams which
would simply reinforce the impression that the security approach is
still the government’s priority in the Land of Papua.

I firmly believe that this positive move by President Widodo to
enter into dialogue with the Papuan people should be welcomed by all
the stake holders, including the TNI [Indonesian Army]


Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive-Director of the LP3BH -Manokwari

Translated by Carmel Budiardjo

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