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Jakarta Post

Dialogue, development and ‘security’ for Papua

  • Pierre Marthinus

Jakarta   /   Mon, January 30 2012   /  08:00 am

President Yudhoyono again denied allegations of human-rights violations and widespread abuse in Papua (The Jakarta Post, Jan. 21, 2012). The problematic justification and framing of abuses as discretionary law enforcement and proportionate military retaliation towards Papuan armed groups has again raised doubts about Jakarta’s actual commitment and readiness for dialogue.

The establishment of the Special Unit for Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua (UP4B) and the appointment of the President’s special envoy should not be taken at face value and romanticized as “the long awaited dialogue” between Jakarta and Papua. At this point, Jakarta’s policy makers, activists, and academics engaged with Papua’s problems should already realize that shattered hopes are the seeds of future enmity and that minting out peace initiatives often comes at a price — especia...