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Jakarta Post

Papuans, non-Papuans urged to 'start over' after Wamena riot

  • Syofiardi Bachyul Jb, Apriadi Gunawan and Ivany Atina Arbi

    The Jakarta Post

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Wamena, Medan and Jakarta   /   Thu, October 10, 2019   /  04:52 pm
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Students of Wamena 1 State High School in Jayawijaya, Papua, engage in trauma-healing activities on the first day of school after the school was closed for two weeks after riots broke out on Sept. 23.(JP/Syofiardi Bachyul Jb)

Local figures and state officials have called on the residents of Wamena in Jayawijaya, Papua, to resume with their normal activities without fear for their safety as authorities have guaranteed security following deadly riots that caused tens of thousands to flee their homes. Dominikus Sorabut, a customary council leader in the Pegunungan Tengah area in Jayawijaya, encouraged both native and non-native Papuan residents in the city to "start over" and asserted that there was no segregation between them. He said native and non-native Papuans were actually brothers and sisters who "eat from the same plate, sit together to share their life stories and have built each other up for a long time” in the region. The turmoil that occurred on Sept. 23 ─ when a mob reportedly comprising native Papuans set hundreds of buildings, houses and cars on fire and violently a...