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Jakarta Post

Wamena investigation: What the government is not telling us

  • Victor Mambor and Syofiardi Bachyul

    The Jakarta Post

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Jayawijaya, Papua   /   Mon, October 28, 2019   /  04:31 pm
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A man stands at the location of Eles Himan grave, one of the dead victims among native Papuans.(JP/Albertus Vembrianto)

In Wamena in Papua’s Jayawijaya regency there is a customary belief that women and children are innocent, that’s why the men have to protect them. “Humi yukurugi wene inyokodek,” said Dominikus Surabut, head of the customary council of La Pago. But if women and children become victims, he said, the men are going to fight in the afternoon and evening. “Inyawim hiam-hiam ninane uok...,” Dominikus went on. This belief played a role in the events that took place in Wamena on Sept. 23, a tragedy shrouded in mystery amid a communication blackout in the region. According to statements from the government, at least 33 were killed in the violence, eight of them native Papuans. An armed rebel group – referred to as an “armed criminal group” by the police – was reportedly behind the atrocity. Thousands of people, both native Papuans ...