News Alerts

23 Sep 2019 | 10:10 AM UTC

Indonesia: Violent protests reported in Papua September 23 /update 9

Indonesia News Alert

Protesters set fire to buildings in further protests in Wamena (Papua) on September 23; further demonstrations possible in the coming days

TIMEFRAME expected from 9/23/2019, 12:00 AM until 9/25/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Jayapura). COUNTRY/REGION Papua province, West Papua province, Jayapura, Wamena

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Event

Violent protests have been reported on Monday, September 23, in the cities of Wamena and Jayapura (Papua). In Wamena, hundreds of students took the streets on Monday morning (local time) to protest alleged racist slurs from teachers. Multiple government buildings and homes have been set ablaze by protesters. According to media reports, internet access has been cut across the city. Police officials declared that Wamena Airport (WMX) would remain closed until further notice.

In the provincial capital, Jayapura, demonstrations were also reported around the Cenderawasih University campus. The Abepura-Padang Bulan Road, in the district of Adepura, has been closed by police on Monday morning and security forces reportedly fired warning shots to contain the protest.

There were no official report of casualties reported and the government claims that the situation has been contained by security forces.

Similar demonstrations may be held across Papua and West Papua over the coming days amid heightened police presence. Transportation, business, and communication disruptions are to be expected. Clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.

Context

Similar demonstrations may be held across Papua and West Papua over the coming days amid heightened police presence. Transportation, business, and communication disruptions are to be expected. Clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.

The demonstrations began after security forces stormed a university dormitory in Surabaya on August 17, rounding up 43 students accused of desecrating the Indonesian flag. The students, who were reportedly subjected to racial abuse, were released from custody on August 18. Thousands of people have participated in the protests, which have been held in Manokwari, Sorong, Jayapura, and other cities in the province.

Advice

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 their home governments, prepare for continuing telecommunication disruptions and avoid all public demonstrations.

 

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