Home Info Exploitation of Ethnicity Issues by West Papuan Separatist Movement

Exploitation of Ethnicity Issues by West Papuan Separatist Movement

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An activist shouts near a police line during a rally to commemorate the West Papuan declaration of independence from Dutch rule in Jakarta, Indonesia December 1, 2015. Indonesian police fired teargas to disperse more than 100 protesters gathered to rally against Indonesia's rule over the remote eastern Indonesian province of Papua. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside - RTX1WM97

Recently, the Free West Papua Movement (Komite Nasional Papua Barat, or KNPB) accused the government of Indonesia of engineering local conflicts in Jayawijaya district, between people of Liwarek and Yalengga (2/10). Civilian clashes also happened in Tolikara, Yahukimo, and Oksibil. Agus Kossay, one of the leaders of KNPB, pointed the blame on the Indonesian government as the ‘mastermind’ behind these conflicts.

Kossay strongly believed that the government has provoked, and eventually funded the respective civilians under the agenda of “security budget”. Kossay also added that the conflicts seemed ‘suspicious’ to him, and indicated the influence of strong political powers. He concluded that this action was taken by the Indonesian government to gain sympathy and legitimacy at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), in order to get a better grip on West Papua territory.

Assuming that Agus Kossay was right about the Indonesian government’s intention, the scheme was clearly unsuccessful, and only harmful for both Indonesia and West Papua. Indonesia for so many years has been trying to showcase the progress of social and economic development in West Papua, and the death of local Papuans during those escalated conflicts was surely a bad advertisement. It is still not clear how the clashes between civilians is going to be beneficial for Indonesian government in solidifying West Papua into integration.

Kossay argued that the Indonesian government would use the occurrence of civil clashes to convince the world that “there is no conflicts, but only ethnic conflicts”. As to this day, the ethnic conflicts are the only ones proven to be exist. Furthermore, Kossay did not explain how the government managed to provoke local residents to go to war with each other.

Nonetheless, conspiracy theorists will find no reason to stop speculating, and accusing the Indonesian government of atrocities. Albeit the accusations, there is no proof that Indonesia’s security budget in West Papua has gone out of control. On the contrary, it makes a lot of sense to trust the local police and authorities in guarding peace n West Papua, as long as these clashes have not stopped from occurring.

The communal nature of West Papuan people is known to be exploited by separatists to provoke upheaval and enmity between ethnicities and subcultures. The West Papuan people traditionally follow the wisdom and instruction of their respected elders. This social foundation can be seen as a strengths, not a weakness, when it comes to national integration.

Source :
Kossay, Agus in KNPB Tuding Konflik di Pegunungan Papua untuk Legitimasi Klaim Indonesia di PBB. Retrieved from: https://www.tabloid-wani .com/2018/10/-knpb-tuding-konflik-di-pegunungan-papua-untuk-legitimasi-klaim-indonesia-di-pbb.html , 2018.

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