<strong>Recent development in Papua</strong>

3/29/2011

 
Several minor security disturbances are happening in certain areas in Papua and Indonesia in general. The local governments together with the police are working hard to make Papua peaceful and safe.

The dynamic security condition in Papua is Indonesia’s internal affairs handled through the implementation of the Special Autonomy and The New Deal Policy for Papua.

Regulation No. 21/2001 regarding Special Autonomy is the legal basis for the Province and the people of Papua to gain wider legitimacy in managing itself and larger responsibility in running governance and exploiting its natural resources for the benefit of the people.

Since 2002, each district in Papua has received Special Autonomy Fund (SAF) managed by the Province of Papua. The West Papua Province has also received SAF since 2008. Total SAF given to the Province of Papua and West Papua up to now has reached Rp. 27 trillions.

Aside of SAF, the Central Gov also provide special fund for governmental institutions in order to support the development in Papua and West Papua.

Given such large amount of funding, income per capita of Papuans are supposed to improve significantly.

Efforts to implement Papua’s Special Autonomy have been conducted by the Central Government and also Provincial Government in forms of, among others:

* Socializing the value of Papua’s Special Autonomy as political policy provided for Papuans.

* Local Gov reshuffle and capacity-building programs.

* The establishment of Papua Peoples Assembly (MRP/Majelis Rakyat Papua).

Benefits expected to be received by the Papuans in terms of the establishment of the Special Autonomy are:

* Large amount of fund in order to improve the level of education, health and prosperity of the Papuans.

* The Papuans themselves decide what should be the development’s priority in accordance to their capability and will.

* Large legitimacy to manage the special autonomy without external interference.

Despite all of the efforts conducted by the central government collaborating with the local government, it should be acknowledged that the Special Autonomy has yet to yield significant outcomes.

Several factors that likely influence the development in Papua are, among others:

* Poor local government’s capacity.

* The need for synchronising authority between the central, provincial and also districts’ governments.

* Poor infrastructure.

* Papua’s topography which makes it un-easy to reach.

* Poor condition of Special Autonomy Fund management thus creating the possibilities for corruption.

The existence of Papua separatist movements that put efforts to disturb the implementation of the Special Autonomy.

Returning Papuan People from Abroad

Nicholaas Jouwe (NJ), a senior Papua separatist movement figure who stayed in the Netherlands since 1961 has visited Jakarta and Papua from 18th to 20th of March 2009. The visit ran as planned and he had the opportunity to meet President of the Republic of Indonesia, Indonesian Minister of Peoples’ Welfare, Indonesia Minister of Fishery and also the Governor of Papua.

After his visit to Indonesia, NJ on April 4, 2009 signed a statement mentioning, among others, his support to the Republic of Indonesia and the willing to assist the development process in Papua through the implementation of the Special Autonomy.

The returning of Papuans from abroad point out the success of development in Papua and the improvement of prosperity of the people and security as well as stability in Papua. It also proves that the Papuans did not leave their homes due to security threats as often mentioned and even campaigned by certain rebellious groups in several countries. 

Prior the home coming of NJ, Papuans who have returned to Indonesia are Franz Albert Joku and Nick Messet (once are activists of Papua separatist movement in Belgium); Yubel Kareni, Hana Gobay, Yunus Wainggai and Aneke Wainggai of the 43 Asylum Seekers from Australia (end of 2005); and Siti Wainggai, wife of Yunus Wainggai, who returned from Vanuatu.

Security Incidents in the Area of PT. Freeport Indonesia

Several security incidents occurred in the area of Freeport since July 8 to July 22, 2009 and caused 3 (three) casualties in which one of the victims is an Australian, namely Drew Nicholas Grant (Dept. Expert Municipal Construction PT. Freeport Indonesia).

Recent investigation by the Indonesian Police has appointed 7 suspects regarding the shootings. Two of them are employees of Freeport.

It is suspected that the shootings are carried out by certain group to disturb the process of Indonesia’s Presidential Election and also because certain tribe are un-satisfied of the share given by Freeport. There’s also an indication showing social jealousy between the local people and the Freeport employees which may stimulate security threats.

Up to today, the Indonesian Police is still investigating the incident in order to further reveal who conducted the shootings and what the motives are.