The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has sent a team to North Sumatra to settle several agrarian conflicts, including one between the Air Force and Sari Rejo residents over 260 hectares of land.
Hundreds of residents welcomed the presidential team, comprising of three people from the presidential staff office, in Sari Rejo, Medan, on Wednesday. The residents carried banners expressing their support for the President.
The team, led by Ahmad Yakub, talked to the residents about the land conflict, giving them time to express their problems about the conflict with the Air Force.
“We will take notes of their complaints and we will discuss them in Jakarta,” Yakub said.
The team later visited Labuhan Batu Utara regency, which also had land conflict issues.
The head of Sari Rejo People’s Forum, Riwayat Pakpahan, said they hoped the presidential team would pave the way for residents to gain ownership certificate for their lands. They have lived on the land since 1948.
“We cannot register our land as ours because the Air Force has laid claim to it. Help us.”
There are about 5,500 families in Sari Rejo, he added.
The team came in response to Sari Rejo residents’ pleas for help.
In 2015, the Air Force put a banner up saying they would build a low-cost apartment for their personnel on the disputed land. The banner incensed residents and a skirmish ensued.
The land dispute between Sari Rejo and the Air Force has been going on since the early 2000. In 2006, after a long legal battle, the residents filed a case review at the Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of the residents. (evi)