The Misery of Displaced Papua Children


TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Happy new year. In this first Tempo edition of 2023, our theme is the conflict in Papua, particularly as the National Commission for Human Rights is striving for a humanitarian pause. We believe that this issue is important at the start of this year because the Papuan conflict seems to have been allowed to continue for years without any efforts to resolve it together. The conflict in Papua has persisted for more than half a century.

An attack by an armed group on an army base in September 2021 had far reaching consequences. Many people fled their home, assistance was halted, and many children suffered or even reportedly died because of malnutrition and edema.

Throughout last week, we interviewed the families of victims and other people with knowledge of malnutrition in Papua. In Maybrat Regency, one of six areas in Papua racked with conflict, babies have been born and died in their havens. The same is true of other regions such as Pegunungan Bintang.

There is hardly any food in these camps. In Maybrat, assistance in the form of monthly food packets from the regional government has only arrived five times. These packages last less than a week, and there is no meat or fish to eat with the rice. Things are even worse for evacuees living in the forests. They do not dare go home because their villages are occupied by soldiers.

Given this state of affairs, the future of the Papua humanitarian pause is not clear. One reason for this is that this humanitarian pause did not involve a number of elements in Papua. The  United Liberation Movement for West Papua, for example, was not involved in the dialogue in Geneva, Switzerland despite being one of the parties in conflict with the government.

From the government side, the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the police were not involved in the talks. The government even gave the impression of being reluctant about the humanitarian pause – which was tried in Aceh and failed. Peace in Papua is looking less clear.

Papua is now facing a humanitarian crisis. Without any desire on the part of the government for dialogue with various elements in Papua, the conflict will continue. The Papuan people impacted by the conflict will continue to suffer. We apologize for starting this new year with a tale of misery.

  

Stefanus Pramono

Managing Editor

COVER STORY

Malnourished  and Displaced Children

Amid continuing uncertainty over the Papuan humanitarian pause, a number of evacuee babies have become malnourished and died. Many other displaced people dare not return to their villages, which are occupied by soldiers.

The Humanitarian Pause in Limbo 

Planned to last from December 2022 to February 2023, the Papuan humanitarian pause has gone nowhere. Why have the National Commission on Human Rights and the government not done anything?

The Tsunami which Brought Peace  

One humanitarian pause did not bring peace. It was tried in Aceh, but failed.

OPINION

Humanity First, Then a Pause 

The humanitarian pause has not touched on the concrete problems in Papua. The problems will be solved in Jakarta, not Geneva.

KALEIDOSCOPE 

 Year of Drama, Year of Disasters

The kaleidoscope 2022 records many important and critical events. What were these events?

ECONOMY

A Sleeper Hit

Interest in traveling by sleeper bus continues to grow. Operators are competing to offer luxury and innovative services. The coachbuilding industry is also reaping the benefits.

Rare Bus Chassis

Automotive manufacturers are finding it difficult to fulfill chassis orders for sleepers bus operators.

LAW 

Mob Justice on Campus

Two Gunadarma University students were abused because they were allegedly guilty of sexual violence. The campus does not yet have a sexual violence prevention and management task force.

INTERLUDE

Retracing Disasters in the Past

The joint Expedition Jawa Dwipa team had a peek at ancient sites and listened to the oral histories of communities in several East Java locations. The team sought the trail of disasters in the past.






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