The Indonesia government announced on Tuesday, December 4, that at least 24 construction workers were abducted and killed by Papuan separatists in Yigi district (Papua province). Officials believe the separatists were holding Independence Day celebrations when the workers took photographs of the ceremonies, angering locals. The Public Works ministry has reportedly halted the construction project in Papua until security forces can secure the site. A heightened security presence can be expected in Yigi district in the coming weeks.
Papuan independence fighters have engaged in an ongoing low-level guerrilla rebellion since Indonesian independence in the 1960s. The construction workers had been working on a bridge project to connect the Trans Papua Road.
Individuals in Indonesia are advised to remain vigilant and exercise caution when traveling to Papua and West Papua, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities (e.g. travel permits) and home governments, and avoid all public demonstrations. Travel to Papua and West Papua requires a permit Many Western government advise against nonessential travel to Papua and West Papua due to the threat of civil unrest and kidnapping.
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