Monday, 23 September 2019 06:37 GMT

Indonesia sends reinforcements to West Papua to quell unrest

(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Indonesia is sending 1,200 police reinforcements to
West Papua province as unrest triggered by the treatment of Papuan
students on the main island of Java continued for a third day, police
said Wednesday.
 Protesters torched a traditional market and other government
buildings in the town of Fakfak in the latest violence, national
police spokesman Muhammad Iqbal said.
Iqbal said additional personnel would be sent to Manokwari and
Sorong, where protesters set fire to buildings on Monday and Tuesday.
 "The situation is under control," Iqbal said. "We are prioritizing
persuasive measures and communicating with community and religious
leaders," he added.
 Thousands of people marched in West Papua on Monday and set fire to
several government buildings in response to a crackdown on Papuan
students in East Java who were protesting for self-determination for
their homeland on Friday.
 Protesters also torched a section of a prison in Sorong, prompting a
riot that led to the escape of more than 250 inmates.
Rights groups have criticized the police for what they called
heavy-handed treatment of dozens of the Papuan protesters during the
rally demanding self-determination for their homeland in East Java.
Police forced their way into a Papuan student dormitory in Surabaya,
the country's second largest city, briefly detained dozens of
students for allegedly desecrating an Indonesian flag.
Papuan activists said they were also subjected to racist abuse.
 Indonesian security forces have intensified operations in Papua
after separatist rebels killed about two dozen construction workers
building a road in December.
 Separatists have fought for independence for the region since the
1960s.  Papua and West Papua provinces make up the Indonesian half of New
Guinea island.


Indonesia sends reinforcements to West Papua to quell unrest

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