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Jakarta Post

Nonnatives consider conflict-struck Papua home and intend to stay

  • Ivany Atina Arbi and Benny Mawel

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta/Jayapura   /   Thu, August 29, 2019   /  07:57 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Thousands of people in Dogiyai regency, Papua, rally against racism and demand a referendum on Aug. 26,. (Handout/-)

For some non-natives and their descendants, Papua is where they live in harmony with indigenous people despite religious and ethnic differences. Ongoing antiracist protests have not deterred them from remaining in the violence-struck easternmost part of the country. Decade-long resident Zoelfian Hukubun, who was born in Papua to parents who came from Maluku, and ethnic Chinese from Bandung, West Java, Romi Mintarya, have no intention of relocating. Zoelfian said the ongoing protests and the unrest in Papua was among the biggest turmoil he had ever encountered. The 32-year-old, who lives in capital Jayapura, said he had never seen unrest as violent and extensive, in which thousands of Papuans had taken to the streets to protest racist abuse experienced by dozens of Papuan students in East Java earlier this month. “I saw some bloody-conflicts in Wamena and Abepura in 2003...