320 children take refuge in Jayawijaya due to firefights in Nduga

Wamena, Papua (ANTARA News) – Some 320 children from Nduga district in Papua province have fled to the neighboring Jayawijaya district along with their parents or on their own, as firefights are ongoing between the armed criminal group and security personnel.

The children are students of 10 elementary schools, five junior high schools and two senior high schools in Nduga district, Ence Geong, a member of the team in charge of handling Nduga refugees, said in Wamena, the capital of Jayawijaya district, on Friday, Feb 8.

“When we gathered them at this church building on Monday (February 4), their number ran into more than five hundred. Since their number is large, they were accommodated at the church which has a capacity of accommodating 800 to 1000 people,” Geong said.

He said the team is still coordinating with several parties to set up emergency schooling so that the children could continue to study.

“We need other supporting facilities, such as student dormitories because some of them live far from the school here,” he said.

The refugees come from several sub-districts including Mbua, Yal, Ndal, Mapenduma, Nirkuri, Mbulmu Yalma, Ininggal, Mam and Iniye.

Headmaster of Yigi elementary school Ledy B Welly, who is also taking refuge in Jayawijaya, said the children continued to study although the number of classrooms and learning facilities is limited.

“We have not studied for more than one month. To catch up with our studies, the teachers will hold a meeting to find a solution,” he said.

Source: ANTARA News