Realizing Papua as a Peace Land

Realizing Papua as a Peace Land – Violence in Papua is a reality that continues from time to time. It is undeniable that various cases of violence caused a human tragedy that had left a deep impression on the hearts of the Papuan people. This crisis, certainly, reflects that human dignity is less being upheld and respected.

Violence often breaks harmony in life and can even threaten the integrity of the plural Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI). Based on research conducted by Gadjah Mada University (UGM) Yogyakarta, from 2010 to 2020, 204 cases of violence had occurred in Papua and West Papua, both vertical and horizontal. Ironically, more than half of the cases of violence were carried out by the Armed Criminal Group (KKB).

Based on field research and local media research, the UGM Team found that in most cases, the perpetrators were KKB. There were 118 recorded cases of violence involving KKB. There were 42 cases committed by residents, 28 cases by TNI-Polri, and 16 cases by unknown persons. All these incidents resulted in 1,869 people being victims. And, of that number, as many as 356 people died, of which 250 or 70% were civilians.

46 Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) soldiers died, 34 soldiers of the Indonesian National Police (Polri), and 26 members of the KKB.

Open Dialogue

 The commitment for solving problems in Papua through an open dialogue between the central government and the Papuan people needs to be intensified. Everything is done to make Indonesia a democratic, modern and civilized country, and to make Papua a peace land.

In addition, from the news published on the online media page, it was explained that a Researcher of Commissioner for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence Arif Nur Fikri reported records of violations of Human Rights (HAM) during 2020 alone, there were 40 incidents. This case was dominated by violence in the form of death, torture and arbitrary abuse by the apparatus. It is therefore necessary to develop an attitude of mutual trust between the Indonesian government and indigenous Papuans.

As early as possible, it is necessary to identify the problems that hinder the realization of Papua as the Peace Land. Therefore, a joint movement is needed in resolving horizontal and vertical conflicts in the land of Papua for the sake of realizing Papua as the peace land. The series of violent incidents that have occurred in Papua recently shows that tragedy after tragedy occurred without any clear direction and resolution.

In the midst of the issue of poverty and injustice, they are trapped by the issue of nationalism. What is the real concept of the Indonesian national vision? Max Lane in his book entitled “An Unfinished Nation” states the need to reclaim the strength and tussle of ideas and thoughts in completing the development of Indonesia as a nation. Political sovereignty has indeed been in the hands of this nation since independence more than half a century ago, but the nation building requires new dynamics.

Considering the political dynamics, complexity, plurality as well as the uniqueness of Indonesia as an “unfinished” nation, the question arises, should we really focus on the national end line while at the same time ignoring ourselves from all the turmoil appearing in it and seeing it as merely a threat? It must be admitted that the dynamics of national politics are inseparable from various upheavals, but if these fluctuations are merely seen as a threat, it is not impossible that this national perspective would not be different from what the New Order government did.

It is far more important to talk about Indonesia as a nation is how we should view it. We are experienced when we blindly see Indonesia, then nationalism will treat itself like a religion. What happens is violence and defamation of human values.

Papua is a region often being the victim of violent by hands with blood in the name of nationalism. Nationalism which is understood as religion will only produce a narrow national attitude, which always sees differences as an enemy. Now, what is more urgent is how the government can be more proactive in approaching Papuans by providing clear evidence that the Papuan people are the most important part of the Republic of Indonesia.

The Papuan people have a right to equal opportunities in all matters, especially in managing their natural resources. The autonomy of natural resource management will be of great benefit to Papuans if there is political will to go there.

Therefore, the approach to violence must be replaced by a culture of dialogue through efforts to educate the lives of the Papuan people. This change of orientation is actually being carried out by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to create Papua as a peaceful land, through improving the welfare of the Papuan people based on a new economic order, in which natural resources must be used for the prosperity of the people of the land.

President Jokowi uses a welfare approach rather than a security approach to resolve the complexity of the problems in Papua. Besides, striving for an economical approach culminating in the welfare of the Papuan people. For example, one price fuel oil (BBM), public health insurance, education, and so on. Let us make Papua a country that is peaceful, full of compassion, and soothing. *)

Author: Antonius Benny Susetyo (A Special Staff to the Chairman of the BPI Steering Committee).

Source: Investor Daily

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