Network to help conflict-affected people
Non-governmental organizations, social activists and the media have taken the initiative to form a Conflict Early Warning and Early Response (CEWER) network to respond to various humanitarian needs.
They said they had taken the initiative because of the sluggish reaction from the government in addressing these issues, especially in post-conflict areas.
The government is deemed to have failed to resolve certain problems, including resettlement and the livelihoods of former refugees.
“There are concerns about fresh conflicts in three post-conflict areas of West Timor in East Nusa Tenggara [NTT], Ambon [Maluku] and Poso [Central Sulawesi], due to unresolved refugee issues. We hope the government is serious about resolving the refugee issue comprehensively,” Partnership Indonesia facilitator and researcher, Boedhi Wijardjo, said during a workshop in Kupang on Friday.
According to him, the demography of residents living in segregation due to conflict, poverty and repression was like smoldering embers, which could spark new conflicts.
“The recent violence in Ambon is a key example,” he said.
Boedhi added that one of the obstacles to resolving social issues in the three post-conflict areas was the lack of a complaints mechanism.
“A quick response and sensitivity from the government are necessary to prevent new conflicts in post-conflict areas. It’s true that there are complaint posts but complaints conveyed via this mechanism have often not been dealt with seriously,” he added.
One former Timor Leste refugee at the Naibonat camp, Francisco Ximenes, said in a statement that the government had built more than 2,000 homes for former refugees, but some of them were built on disputed land which, it was feared, could result in disputes between landowners and former refugees.
“I have repeatedly told the government to build homes on land with clear status, and not on disputed land,” he said.
Separately, in order to shed light on conflict-related issues, Muhammadiyah chairman, Din Syamsuddin, said persuasive dialogue with every relevant party should be carried out to resolve conflict, particularly in Papua.
He also warned against blowing up the issue beyond a domestic perspective. “We should refer to the importance of national integration. This is a domestic issue and no one should bring it to an international level,” Din said after opening a
Muhammadiyah conference at the Gedung Merdeka building in Bandung, West Java, on Thursday.
He said Muhammadiyah was concerned about the endless conflict and violence in Papua. The government and every element involved, including religious figures, members of the community and NGOs should make a strenuous effort to resolve the issue together.
“Resolving the Papua conflict should be carried out in the framework of the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia, based on Pancasila. We must all refer to the importance of national integration,” said Din.
The government was also criticized for what Din saw as its slowness to heed the aspirations of the people living there. “Prioritize persuasive dialogue rather than a repressive approach because once blood is shed, it becomes harder to resolve the conflict,” he said.
Former National Intelligence Agency deputy head, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Muchdi Purwoprandjono, said the conflict and the series of recent shootings in Papua was due to the government’s indecisiveness.
“Are people really demanding independence? Why do we say no one? We always refer to them as ‘unidentified’,” he said.
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