A local market is seen burning during a protest in Fakfak, West Papua, on Aug. 21 - Photo: Antara.

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Rioting broke out in Papua’s capital of Jayapura on late Thursday (08/29) as thousands of protesters marched toward the Papua governor’s office from Sentani district, local media reported. Office and shopping centers, hotels have been closed since noon leaving Jayapura paralyzed and tense.

The protesters had also set fire to the Papua People’s Assembly building and threw rocks at the Plaza Telkom building as well as other office buildings. Protesters also set fire to the Papua Trade Center (PTC) shopping complex in South Jayapura, Kompas Tv showed. There were also reports that said the protesters had thrown rocks at a Horizon Hotel and the Grand Abe Hotel.

The mass even destroyed official vehicles belonged to Jayapura Regional Military Command. The commander Johannes Parinusa confirmed his car was targeted by the mass when he was monitoring the demonstration in Expo areas, Waena.

“Yes, the official car I was riding get damaged. I was passing the area to inspect the rally when suddenly protesters wreck it in the middle of a clash with the police,” said Parinusa to Kompas, adding that his fleet has been taken to a workshop for repairs.

It also reported that some protesters had clashed with police at the Expo Waena complex, with police firing rubber bullets at the crowd, injuring at least six people. On Wednesday, the protest has killed three peoples and others injured, as they tried to storm a local government office in the Deiyai region, near to Jayapura City.

Thursday morning the follow-up demonstrations against racism that were carried out in Wamena had been anarchist so the police threw tear gas.

“It’s true that the official car I was riding in was damaged. When passing by to monitor the demonstration, suddenly the demonstrators were damaged by a clash with the police,” Lieutenant Colonel Inf Parinusa told Antara News Agency.

Meanwhile, hundreds of the masses were reported to have walked from Wamena to Abepura and were scheduled to Jayapura. As a result, shops and shopping centers along the protocol road have been closed. Even students since 09.30 were discharged from school.

Jayapura’ police spokesman, Iptu Jahja Rumra, confirmed that the police had time to release tear gas to arrest the crowd who wanted to go to Jayapura. But the situation is relatively conducive and at this time the masses are walking towards Abepura, he said.

On the other hand, a member of the Indonesian House of Representatives Sukamta considered that the government’s steps in solving problems in Papua must be transparent because after two weeks they had not shown significant progress.

“I think the problem is very serious, it’s just that we are still quite dark about what actually happened, why it has dragged on,” Sukamta said in Jakarta on Thursday.

He considered there were some indications that the problem of Papua had reached a very serious level, namely the various actions of students from Papua in several big cities, the rejection of the group of governors of Papua and East Java by students in Papua Dormitory, Wednesday (28/8) and the internet network was still turned off. in Papua until now.

The politician from Keadilan Sejahtera Party asked the government to pause the issue of moving the capital city and focus on solving the Papua problem first.

“The removal of the capital is important, but the problem of Papua is more important to be solved first. Do not let our attention be diverted by things that are not so urgent,” he said.

According to him, the government needs to immediately make more substantive and careful steps to resolve the Papua problem.

He said, from several research reports in Papua, the perception of the majority of Papuan respondents felt they were treated unfairly and also felt marginalized due to the presence of migrants.

“Whereas President Joko Widodo has visited Papua 13 times and the government says he has built a lot of infrastructure in Papua,” he said.

Therefore, he considered, it was necessary to formulate the government immediately, a short-term agenda to restore a conducive atmosphere and a long-term agenda to overcome the fundamental problems felt by Papuans.

Written by Misel Gual, Email: theinsiderstories@gmail.com