UP4B ready to hold dialogue with papua separatists

The chairman of the government`s Unit for Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua (UP4B) Lieutenant General (ret) Bambang Darmono said the unit was ready to hold a dialogue with separatist elements in Papua to ensure the region`s security and peace.

“UP4B is ready to have a dialogue with everybody in Papua including with members of the Free Papua Organization (OPM). However, it must be noted that nowadays many people can claim to be OPM members, and we have difficulty determining which people or groups of people we can have a dialogue with,” he said on Monday (30/01) at a seminar to familiarize non-governmental organizations and donor institutions with UP4B`s program.

The former commanding officer in Aceh from 2002-2005 said OPM is comprised of many groups. Therefore, the UP4B was now still trying to identify these groups in order to determine the steps the government needed to take ahead.

Apart from trying to approach OPM, he said, UP4B also had conducted dialogue with other groups of people in Papua.

“Recently I met several young entrepreneurs from Papua. We had a very constructive dialogue about their demand for the government to prioritize local entrepreneurs to carry out governmental projects in Papua,” he said.

UP4B was established last December 2011 to coordinate development efforts in Papua and West Papua provinces. UP4B`s priorities are food resilience, poverty alleviation, development of grass roots` economy, improving education and health service, development of basic infrastructure and prioritizing indigenous Papuans.

The unit is directly supervised by Vice President Boediono who earlier said the focus of development in Papua region had so far been put on infrastructure with regard to investment.

“In the next five to ten years infrastructure will remain to be focused,” he said.

Infrastructure is a bridge for development acceleration in Indonesia, he said. In view of that the government encouraged the private parties to participate in the infrastructure development.

Source: ANTARA News

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Filed under Papua, Separatism

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