The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo pledged on Wednesday that the government will press on with the construction of various projects in Papua, including the trans-Papua road project, following the killing of 19 workers and one soldier by the Free Papua Movement in Nduga regency, Wamena.
“It even burns the spirit to develop Papua,” said Jokowi at the State Palace in Jakarta on Wednesday in response to the killing of the workers, who were involved in the construction of a bridge, which is part of the road project.
The President said he had instructed Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono to go ahead with the 4,400-kilometer road project, despite infrastructure development in two Papuan provinces facing high levels of difficulty, particularly because of geographical challenges.
Jokowi said helicopters were needed to transport heavy equipment to a location 3,000 meters above sea level. He admitted security concerns in certain areas had forced developers to temporarily stop projects.
Meanwhile, Minister Basuki said he had temporarily stopped the trans-Papua road project following the incident until the military and police guaranteed security in the location.
“We will continue after the regional military and police commanders say the locations are secured,” he said, adding that the road project was scheduled to finish next year. The shooting occurred when 31 workers were working at the Nduga Bridge, one of 35 bridges being constructed along the trans-Papua road project. (bbn)