Rioters torch buildings, as chaos erupts again in Jayapura, West Papua


West Papua extremists are increasingly active in provoking the people of West Papua on hate and racial issues.

On August 19-24, protesters started to take action regarding the issues. They marched in protest and destroyed all public facilities along the way.

The protesters attacked the national telecommunication substations. Someone had cut the main cable of Telkomsel’s optical network; shutting down the phone and message services.

The Ministry of Communication and Information emphasized that the interruption of short messages and telephone services in Jayapura, West Papua, happened because someone cut the network cable.

“Someone cut the main cable of Telkomsel’s optical network, which resulted in the shutdown of all telecommunications services in several areas of Jayapura.” – Rudiantara, Minister of Communication and Information

The situation in Abepura, Jayapura, West Papua (08/29) turned tense after a rally of protests.

The protests against racism in Surabaya (08/16) led to riots. The mass burned cars and buildings, one of which was Telkomsel’s communications services office.

Since morning, there have been around 1,000 people occupied the Abepura red light district. Some of them carried red flags with a black star.

The presence of a red flag with a black star implies the involvement of certain extremist groups. They are trying to escalate the issue of racism in Surabaya to become the Papuan referendum issue.

The mass had burned down the Telkomsel office severely; the building completely unusable. Telkomsel to close it until an indefinite time.

Until now, Telkomsel is still trying to repair the broken cable. Safeguards are also carried out so that workers’ safety is guaranteed.

Telkomsel’s VP of Corporate Communications, Denny Abidin, said that they had tried to divert traffic. So that voice and short message services could be used immediately.

Minister Rudiantara also emphasized that the government only limits data services to prevent hoaxes; they do not limit telephone and short message services.

Internet restrictions are needed because the rate of hoax spread on the West Papua issue is very fast. There are 1,750 accounts that produced 32,000 hoax contents.

Mapping and profiling of these accounts found aggregators, buzzers, and second-line buzzers working behind it; some even came from outside Indonesia.

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