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Jakarta Post

Discourse: ‘Papua, a land with 1,001 vested interests’

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, December 16 2011   /  08:29 am

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono appointed in early October Lt. Gen. (ret.) Bambang Dharmono, former Aceh military commander and negotiator representing Indonesia for the Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM), to lead the Presidential Unit for the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua (UP4B). The Jakarta Post’s Nani Afrida recently talked to Bambang about his strategies to unlock bottlenecks hampering development in the two restive provinces. The following are excerpts from interview:

Question: What is actually the root of the problem in Papua?

Answer: First, the problem revolves around different perceptions about the annexation of Papua into Indonesia from the Dutch rule in 1969 based on a United Nations (UN) ruling. Before that there was a referendum in Papua to determine the province’s fate, organized by the UN. Based on the referendum, the UN then issued a r...