On Monday, September 2, the National Police chief announced an additional 6000 joint security personnel deployed to Papua and West Papua provinces on Sunday, September 1, as tensions remain high in the region. The police also issued notices to ban violent demonstrations and speeches promoting separatism as part of protesters demand for a self-determination referendum. Earlier on Sunday, Papua students were reportedly attacked in their dormitory in the Abepura district (Jayapura) by a suspected pro-Jakarta and police-backed group known as ‘’Masyarakat Nusantara,’’ leaving one student dead.
Further protests are possible throughout Papua and West Papua provinces in the coming days, despite the ban. Heightened security measures and transportation and business disruptions are to be expected near demonstration sites. Clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.
Violent protests have taken place in West Papua and Papua provinces since August 18, leading officials to cut internet access and deploy additional police officers in the region. Over the two weeks of demonstrations, at least 41 people have been arrested and two students charged for treason in Jakarta. Four Australian nationals were also deported out of the country on September 2 after allegedly participating to unrest in Sorong on August 22. According to official sources, at least ten people were killed, although the exact number remains unclear due to the ongoing internet blackout.
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, and avoid all public demonstrations.
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