Pre-election violence hits district in Indonesia’s Papua

Supporters of rival political candidates have clashed in Indonesia’s most-eastern province, Papua this week, just days ahead of district elections.

Several buildings were destroyed in the Tolikara district of Papua, halting much of the activity in the district capital of Karubaga. Stores and offices have remained closed since Tuesday (14/02) when the violence first erupted.

“There has been a clash between supporters of John Tabo and [running mate] Edi Suyanto and supporters of Usman Wanimbo and [running mate] Amos Jikwa,” said Tolikara Police Chief Rahmat Siregar.

Tabo is supported by the Golkar Party and Usman is backed by the Democratic Party, and both are running for district head.

The local Democratic Party office and the local Central Statistics Agency (BPS) office were both set on fire on Wednesday (15/02) as violence continued to escalate.

“A number of important documents were destroyed and the building was burned to the ground,” said BPS Papua chief Djarot Sutanto. He added that no one was hurt in the incident.

Rahmat declined to confirm whether anyone had been injured in the clashes.

The polls are scheduled to open on Friday (17/02).

Source: BNO News

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