Monday, June 11, 2012

Indonesian President SBY 'the Main Problem' With Solving Papua Conflict

Amid ongoing attacks in Papua, a lawmaker on Monday called for the president to focus on solving the problem in the restive region.

“As long as President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono refuses to respond to all of the recommendations, such as starting a dialogue between Jakarta and Papua, the shootings will continue,” lawmaker from House Commission III Eva Kusuma Sundari said.

“The problem has been identified, possible solutions have been recommended, but the president stays still. The main problem is with the president.”

At least 13 civilians and 15 security officers have been killed in a spate of attacks by unknown gunmen during the past 18 months. The situation was getting worse last week with more people killed.

The latest shooting happened on Sunday night. A Papuan local was found dead in front of Cenderawasih University in Jayapura.

Defense minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said only police should be focusing on solving the problem. The military can only be involved if the cases are related to separatism.

“Intelligence might also be involved, but they should be very careful as Papua is a sensitive case,” Purnomo said on Monday. “There is indeed an internal threat, but the problem is related to the public order so it is the authority of the police. Let them solve it, we are ready to help if needed.”

Regarding Eva’s criticism about Yudhoyono, Purnomo said the government had come up with the right approach by improving the welfare of the Papuan people through the government’s Unit for the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua (UP4B). Jakarta Globe

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