Tag Archives: Wamena

Papua to build four reference hospitals

The regional government of Papua Province will build four major national reference hospitals respectively in Biak, Nabire, Wamena and Merauke districts in 2014.

Head of the Regional Development Planning Board (Bapedda) of Papua Muhammad Abud Musaad said here on Thursday that the four hospitals would be build in the four districts based on regional customary divisions.

The placement of the hospitals in the regional customary divisions is expected to reach local people with fast, quality and modern facilities in providing them with health services.

“The district governments only provided land for the construction of the hospitals while the funds will be provided by the provincial government,” Musaad said.

He said that so far the people of Papua who suffered from certain diseases should be referred to hospitals outside Papua province.

With the presence of the hospital, patients who suffered from certain diseases could be handled immediately, he said.

“In order to provide the hospitals with health equipment, the provincial government will ask assistance from the central government through the ministry of health,” he said.

In the meantime, the National Family Planning and Population Board (BKKBN) said last week the maternal mortality rate in Papua Province was still high.

“The local government should give serious attention to the high maternal mortality rate. It should protect Papuan women and maintain the healthiness of their reproduction,” Julianto Witjaksono, BKKBN deputy for family planning and reproduction health, said.

The organization of cabinet ministers wives (SIKIB) has also visited the Wulukubun village, Keerom District, Papua to observe public facilities and family planning services there.

Julianto Witjaksono said that about 500 mothers died of bleeding during labor every year in the district. It was also difficult for officials to provide family planning services for native Papuan women.

“Of the many family planning service options, they prefer to use the pills, injection and implant methods,” he said.

BKKBN Head for Papua Nerius Auparay said meanwhile a new strategy was needed to introduce the family planning program to Papuan natives.

Source: ANTARA News

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Police identifies civilian helicopter shooters in Papua

Police chief of Papua province, Ins.Gen. Tito Karnavian said the police had identified the perpetrators behind the civilian helicopter shootings on Tuesday (26/03) in Puncak Senyum, Papua. He said they were likely the armed civilian group of Free Papua Organization (OPM) which is led by Purom Okiman Wenda.

“According to a preliminary investigation, it is strongly believed that the shooters were the armed group of OPM. The area has been identified as the group’s playground for quite a while now,” Tito, former police counterterrorism special detachment commander, said on Wednesday (27.03).

He added that there had been growing suspicion that the shootings were also part of the group’s strategy to put blame on the police and the military due to the existence of a joint command post near the scene.

“They want the civilians to think that it was either the police or the military behind the shootings,” he said.

Separately, Cendrawasih Military Command Commander Maj. Gen. Christiant Zebua said he regretted the shootings, saying that whoever had masterminded the attack was heartless and irrational.

“Let alone the fact that the helicopter was transporting two Christian missionaries who carry out humanitarian missions in the region. This just makes the shootings look even worse,” he said.

An early report stated that a helicopter owned by the Helivida Foundation, en route to Wamena with two Christian missionary passengers, was shot at by OPM in Puncak Senyum on Tuesday. No victims were reported but there were two bullet holes found on a window near the cockpit.

Source: the Jakarta Post

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Papua development program aims to lure the young back to farming

As with many areas in Indonesia and around the world, people in Papua move from rural areas to the city. However, having lived close to their land for thousands of years their competitive streak in setting up small businesses lags behind that of migrants who have for generations had the skills to run businesses, according to Rio Pangemanan, Oxfam program manager on the Papua Enterprise Development Program.

In no corner of the town of Wamena will one see a shop that is owned or run by indigenous Papuans. Indigenous women with their noken (traditional Papuan woven bags) hanging from their heads to their backs sell sweet potatoes or vegetables on a cloth in the street markets. Young strong-limbed Papuan men push rickshaws, some even in bare feet. Others wander around the markets, intoxicated from glue-sniffing.

The UK based international development organization Oxfam is the international NGO that is allowed to operate in the province. Working with local partners, Oxfam has been supporting local farmers in five regencies in Papua in developing their farms and markets.

Oxfam supports the farmers according to the local needs and potential. For example, in Yapen Island, Oxfam has supported the Wamanuam Be Kitabono Yawa (WMY) Cooperative in cultivating vanilla beans. In Jayawijaya regency, the NGO has supported the Independent Business Foundation (Yapum) in cultivating and distributing sweet potatoes. Meanwhile in Paniai and Nabire Oxfam has supported their local partners in helping coffee farmers and in Jayapura, cacao farmers.

Oxfam’s contract ends next year, but Rio hopes that the NGO will get an extension for its programs. Rio said of the vanilla program in Serui that vanilla vines needed three years to produce beans, so new farmers would only have their first harvest in 2014. Rio said that by the end of 2014, he hoped the cooperative would be able to run independently.

Meanwhile in Wamena, Rio estimates that it will take two years for their partners to be independent in terms of management. He said that if the local government could take part in transportation and distribution of the produce, Oxfam’s partners, such as Yapum, would be able to operate independently once their management capacity had been strengthened.

In his office in Serui, Apolos Mora, the head of WMY cooperative said that for years vanilla trees grew in the wild in forests in Yapen. The Dutch brought the seeds when they opened coffee and chocolate farms on the island in the 1950s. “Before they [the Dutch] could teach the local people to cultivate vanilla, there was the transfer of power to Indonesia,” Apolos said.

One day in 2008, Apolos was reading about vanilla in the bookstore and an “Aha!” moment hit him as he realized that these plants were the ones that grew wild in the forest. When Madagascar, the largest vanilla pod producer in the world, had poor harvests, the price of vanilla pods skyrocketed to Rp 3 million (US$309) per kilogram, Apolos said. Apolos then decided to cultivate vanilla vines and trained the farmers joining his cooperative to plant vanilla too. He sells the pods to Manado, where they are exported to Europe, the US, Australia and New Zealand. Recently, the price for dried vanilla pods was Rp 115,000 per kilogram.

PEDP manager, Rio Pangemanan, said that Oxfam supported programs according to the characteristics of the area. The island and coastal areas are more developed than the mountain areas due to ease of access to other islands in Indonesia. The mountain areas meanwhile are more isolated. This results in a different variety of crops that can be profitable to produce. While farmers in Serui can sell their crops in Manado, in Wamena farmers can only sell locally.

In Jayawijaya, Oxfam supports farmers revitalizing their sweet potato farms. Partnering with Yapum, they have developed 20 sweet potato collecting points in Jayawijaya that will distribute the crops to the markets in Wamena. Rio said that these collecting points had become a place for farmer’s advocacy and education to motivate the community to return to their farms instead of leaving for the city.

Local NGOs such as Yapum and WMY cooperative say that it is not always easy advocating for farmers to cultivate vanilla beans or sweet potatoes. Farmers’ programs in Papua are often project-based, in which farmers are given money to open rice paddies or fishponds. Once the funds dry up, the projects become neglected.

Eli Tabuni, the secretary of one of the sweet potato collecting points was one of the farmers who questioned the program. “This [sweet potato farming] is our culture, why are you making a project out of this?” he asked Yapum and Oxfam during their visit there. He said that many of the programs were only temporary and were not really helpful.

Kiloner Wenda, Oxfam Sweet Potato project officer in Jayawijaya, answered Eli in the Lani language with another question. “Where are the young people now who will work on the farms?” he said. “If we don’t start now, then our culture will slowly disappear,” he said.

Rio said that the projects aimed to support indigenous Papuan farmers in developing their business sense and opening their access to markets. In Wamena, women carrying their sweet potatoes from their villages to the market have to pay for transportation to the market for their heavy bags.

Yapum encourages them to sell the potatoes for Rp 5,000 per kilogram, and they only need to drop their crops at the collecting points. This way, the women did not have to travel far to the markets and could save on transportation, Rio said.

In Serui, the program has managed to attract young farmers, but in Wamena, whether the program will succeed in bringing the young back to the farms is yet to be seen. For the kids that like to play in the farm, their dreams are to be pilots and teachers, they say. But they will always love eating sweet potatoes.

Source: The Jakarta Post

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Suspects in setting police station on fire arrested in Papua

Police have arrested five suspects following a riot when mobs attacked and set on fire a police station in Wamena, Papua, yesterday (17/12).

“They were being investigated,” police`s chief spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said here on Monday.

The incident took place all of a sudden following the death of Hubert Mabel, who had been in the police`s list of wanted men, shot by police on Sunday morning.

The mob protested the shooting of Mabel, who was a suspect in the recent bombing of the Jayawijaya district legislative assembly office and police station in Wamena.

Boy said police were forced to shoot Mabel as he rejected arrest and tried to grab the weapon of a police officer.

The situation in Wamena is now under control, Boy said.

Mabel was known to be the chairman of the West Papua National Committee.

Papua has remained a hot spot with separatists have not given up fighting for independence of the easternmost region of Indonesia.

Source: ANTARA News

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Bombs found in Wamena

The Jayawijaya Police said on Wednesday that they found a 3-kilogram bomb in Abusa hamlet, Kurulu District, Jayawijaya, after a number of recent bombings in Wamena.

“From our investigation, the suspects said that there were around 20 kilograms of bombs across Wamena. So far, we have found 5 kilograms, so there are still many bombs left out there,” said Papua Police spokesman Adj. Sr. Comr. I Gede Sumerta in Jayapura on Wednesday.

In September, a bomb blast rocked a room of the Jayawijaya Legislative Council, followed by another explosion at a police post.

The police so far have detained 10 suspects and they are still pursuing an additional five more suspects. Previously, the police discovered a bomb in Honai Lama.

“The 10 suspects violated the Law No. 21/1951 on Possession of Explosive Materials, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison,” said Sumerta, adding that the bombs were transported from Biak.

“It was also revealed that the gang had plans of bombing a number of regions across Papua on the same date and the Wamena bombings were just the beginning of the Papua bombing [campaign],” added Adj. Sr. Comr. Parlin Silitonga, head of the Papua Police’s Crime Unit.

Parlin went on to say that one suspect in the Wamena bombing was allegedly involved in a murder in Jayapura on August, which left four people dead.

Source: The Jakarta Post

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Govt to build several airports in Papua

The Ministry of Transportation, through the Directorate General of Air Transportation, will develop a number of airports in the provinces of Papua and West Papua, according to local transportation office spokesman Bambang Tjahjono.

“In order that more commercial airlines serve the eastern Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua, the Ministry of Transportation will develop airports there,” he said here on Monday (08/10).

Bambang stated that the runways of Sentani in Jayapura and Sorong in West Papua would be extended.

“The runway of Sentani airport will be extended to 3,000 metres, in addition to the development of its taxiway and a boarding bridge or garbarata,” he noted.

“The Ministry of Transportation and Sorong mayor have also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the expansion of the runway of Sorong airport in West Papua,” Bambang said.

“The MoU also involves the construction of an alternative airport in Segun,” he added.

According to Bambang, other airports to be developed in Papua and West Papua include those in Kaimana, Wamena, Manokwari, Merauke, Wagete Baru in Deiyai, and Tamanof.

“The Ministry of Transportation has allocated a lot of funds for the eastern Indonesian region because we give our special attention to Papua and West Papua,” he explained.

Source: ANTARA News

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Police Name Nine Suspects In Alleged Papua Bomb Plot

Nine members of the separatist movement West Papua National Committee (KNPB) were charged with possession of explosive devices after Jayawijaya Police allegedly found bombmaking materials in KNPB offices on Saturday (29/09).

The nine suspects were all charged under the 1951 Law on Explosive Ownership, Papua Police spokesman Adj. Sr. Comr. Gede Sumerta told the press. They have been identified as JW, ED, JJM, BYW, SK, SH, YD, RK and NK.

Pilemon Elosak, a man who was detained by police after officers reportedly found the first batch of explosives in his house, was not among the list of those charged. Pilemon reportedly told police that Lani Hubi and Michel Waitipo gave him 0.5 kilograms of dynamite, a detonator and an undisclosed amount of aluminum in order to bomb multiple police, government and military offices across Wamena, police said.

Both Lani Hubi and Michel Waitipo were absent from the list of suspects.

Police then searched KNPB numerous offices in Wamena and allegedly uncovered two more bombs, three bows, one airgun, eight machetes, two axes, a compact disc on Papuan independence and a Morning Star flag, police said.

“They’re planning to blow up [the] military headquarters and police office,” National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said on Monday (01/10).

According to police reports, the men were reportedly behind the Sept. 18 bombing of a police post and an attack on a government office in Wamena.

The Papua branch of the Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy (Elsham) doubted the veracity of the police report, claiming that the evidence must have been fabricated by police.

The KNPB has historically been seen as a peaceful separatist organization.

A separatist group, the Free Papua Movement (OPM) has waged a low-scale insurgency against Indonesian security forces from their remote outpost for decades. Much of that fighting has been centered near Freeport Indonesia’s mining activities in Timika.

Papua Police is now being lead by a new chief who has vowed to take a grassroots approach to policing the restive province.

“This is a matter of hearts that we have to touch,” Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian said.

Tito was the former head of Densus 88 from 2004 to 2011. He was briefly appointed as deputy chief of the recently formed National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) before taking over the Papua Police.

Source: The Jakarta Globe

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