‘Protect Papuan women and children – not kill them’, security forces told

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The national Commission for Women hold Jayapura conference
The national Commission for Women and MRP held a Jayapura workshop to discuss protection for women with HIV/AIDS in the region of the conflict. Image: Yance Wenda/Tabloid Jubi

By Yance Wenda in Jayapura

Deputy chair Debora Mote of the Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) says the Indonesian state’s security forces should be protecting indigenous Papuan women and children, not killed them.

Mote told a joint conference of the National Commission for Women and the MRP that members of the Indonesian military (TNI) and police’s task was to protect the people, including indigenous Papuan women and children in and outside conflict areas.

The TNI and police must respect the guarantees for the protection of Papuan women and children as stipulated in Special Regional Regulation No. 1/2011 on the Restoration of the Rights of Papuan Women Victims of Violence and Human Rights Violations, she said.

“There is the Special Regional Regulation No. 1/2011 on the Restoration of the Rights of Papuan Women Victims of Violence and Human Rights Violations,” said Mote.

“We hope that TNI and police are not allergic [to such a regulation]. The regulation gives a warning that instruments of the state are used to protect the people, not the other way around.”

Mote said that cases of violence inflicted by the security forces against Papuan women and children should push the MRP and the Papuan Legislative Council to further encourage the implementation of the special regional regulation.

Such an effort was important to ensure that violence against civilians in Papua did not recur, she said.

Protection key to future generations
She added that the protection of indigenous Papuan women and children would determine future generations.

“It is women, not men, who bear and give birth to the next generation. If there are children, then the children will carry on the ancestry, and inherit them,” said Mote.

A youth representative of the Evangelical Church in Indonesia (GIDI), Eneko Pahabol, regretted the conflicts and violence that continued to occur in Papua and to take a toll on indigenous Papuan women and children.

Pahabol asked why the conflict was allowed to happen.

“It’s as if one takes advantage of the armed conflict. I, as the next generation, who inherited the suffering of my parents, ask [the warring parties] to end the violent conflict completely and peacefully,” said Pahabol.

Republished with permission.

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