By Ainur Rohmah
Tuban, Jubi – President Widodo says 40-kilometer road project to continue, after separatist group claims attack that killed 4 construction workers.
Indonesia’s president stressed Friday the government’s commitment to development projects in troubled Papua province, following the killing of four construction workers in an attack claimed by an armed separatist group.
President Joko Widodo — popularly known as “Jokowi” — said that while authorities found Tuesday’s violence “regrettable”, construction on the 40-kilometer road project to connect Sinak district to Mulia district would continue.
“We are not afraid of the obstacle,” Kompas.com quoted him saying as he stressed that the conflict-ridden region was in serious need of infrastructure.
The government of Widodo — who took office in Oct. 2014 following a populist campaign — is aiming to have all districts of Papua connected by roads by 2018.
Papua has been home to a low-level insurgency ever since the former Dutch colony was transferred to Indonesian rule in 1963.
Despite its wealth of resources, the province is among the most impoverished and has witnessed the arrest of political prisoners and alleged abuses by security forces over the decades.
Last year, the government allocated $460 million for infrastructure projects in Papua focusing on roads, bridges, irrigation and sanitation.
Widodo announced Friday that he had instructed security forces to tighten measures at the road construction site.
The slain workers were reportedly killed by an armed group blamed for an earlier attack on military personnel patrolling the area.
National Police Chief Badrodin Haiti said Thursday that authorities had identified the assailants as members of the same group that killed three police officers in an attack in Sinak last December, according to Detik.com.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the armed wing of the Free Papua Movement, the West Papua National Liberation Army, claimed responsibility for the March attacks.
“We hope that with this action, the Indonesian government can open up channels of dialogue to discuss the independence of Papua,” Kompas.com quoted Sebby Sambom as saying Friday.
“If officials and citizens become victims, it is the fault of the government that does not give us freedom,” he insisted, describing the actions as part of a gradual revolution.
Earlier this year, President Widodo instructed that the government deal with separatism through a “soft approach” involving dialogue and the possible granting of clemency and unconditional release to political prisoners, according to The Jakarta Post.
He, however, underlined that any resistance would be handled through a “hard approach”.
After the January cabinet meeting, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung had said the government would implement a similar strategy as that used in dealing with a separatist group in conservative northern Aceh province.
In 2005, the secular government and the Free Aceh Movement signed a peace deal ensuring that the region would be allowed to enforce a form of Sharia law.
During a visit to Papua in May 2015, Widodo pardoned five political prisoners in Papua and announced that foreign journalists would no longer need special permission for visits — which had also been restricted to human rights activists, aid workers and researchers.
The president has expressed hope that Indonesia’s past repressive security approach would be replaced with an approach prioritizing development and welfare. (*)
This piece was originally published over at Video News here.
A Survey team rescued after being trapped in Warundi Island
24 houses were buried by landslides in Yahukimo
Yahukimo, Jubi – Landslide disaster has struck the residents settlements and farms of in Buahun village Kabianggama District, Yahukimo Regency end of last year (December 30), at about three o’clock in the afternoon.
According to Enius Yual, a person in charge in handling landslide disaster in village Buahun, Kabianggama district, it occurred because Bibil Mountain was split in the middle that caused a shift of lands and landslides. As a result, dozens of houses and farms owned by residents were damaged and dozens of livestock died.
“There are 24 houses buried in landslides. Farms owned by residents in six villages, including Buahun, Bahabolma, Kawianggema, Soha, Supayo, and Domul villages, destroyed completely due to landslides in three locations. Total of 26 pigs also buried by landslides. Now people started to get coughing, fever chills, runny nose, and shortness of breath. Food also lacks and we ask government’s attention,” said Enius Yual to Jubi, in Dekai, Thursday (January 11).
“This disaster is a fact, not we need help from the government,” he added.
Chief of Kabianggema District, Agus Silip, who also witnesses said the disaster had happened almost two weeks ago, but the information were late to be delivered due to transportation which is only by plane. He just arrived in Deka, the regency capital, to bring evidence of disaster.
“Our house, farms, and pig are buried. Our house was ruined. Our essentials and kitchen appliances were covered by landslides. We started to get sick. We desperately need help from all parties. We’ve got nothing else,” said Silip.
He told Jubi that the disaster came in a suddenly. There was no earthquake, rain, or any other signs. Residents were in a state of shock and panic trying to save themselves.
“The news about the tragedy is delayed because of it happened in the hinterland. The means of communication are limited. Just today I met reporters,” he said.(tabloidjubi.com)
Ten bridges connecting Wamena-Kenyam completed in 2017
Wamena, Jubi – Ten bridges connecting Wamena-Kenyam are confirmed to be completed by the end of 2017. The bridge is part of 35 bridges to be built along the trans-Papua Wamena road, from Jayawijaya to Kenyam, Nduga.
“For the Papua-Wamena-Kenyam Trans Road itself has been translucent, but there are some great or high slopes need to be lowered again,” said Head of the National Road Implementation Work Unit (PJN) IV Papua, Togap Harianto Manik,
According to Harianto, there are currently two multi-year contracts of 35 bridges. Only 10 bridges can only be completed this year, while another 25 bridges will be completed by 2018 to 2019.
A total of 10 bridges are under construction using iron frames with varying lengths and pass through the rushing river pathways and dangerous for the people who pass.
“So there is a span or length of 100, 80 and 60 which may be quite heavy currents so it is impossible to pass by vehicle,” Harianto explained.
Not only Wamena to Kenyam, the implementation of national road in Puncak Jaya area is also targeted for completion in 2019, including roads from Wamena to Sugapa in Intan Jaya Regency.
Head of Work Unit (Satker) for the implementation of the national road of Puncak Jaya region, La Hanafi said that access to Puncak Jaya through six districts passed by Jayawijaya, Tolikara, Puncak, Puncak Jaya, Yahukimo and Lanny Jaya is targeted in the Trans Papua road program.
“Starting from Wamena to Enarotali border in Sugapa can be done in 2019,” said Hanafi.
In addition, PJN V Puncak Jaya is also working on roads starting from Dekai in Yahukimo Regency towards Kenyam, Nduga Regency, as part of trans-Papua road from Satker Jayawijaya Wamena to Kenyam.
“We ask for local governments and communities support for a non-technical way, because we are technically ready to implement it,” he said.
According to him, the total has reached 78 percent, and those are with several directions, such as Sugapa to Bioga, Bioga to Sugapa, Bioga-Illaga, Illaga to Bioga. (tabloidjubi.com/Zely)
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