Shopping malls, schools in Jayapura remain closed day after rioting

“We are also strengthening our security measures at national vital objects and are backing up the Papua provincial police to secure the rallies,” he stated.

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) – A day after Jayapura bore witness to riots, residents of this capital city of Papua Province yet found several shopping malls, markets, privately-owned and government offices, as well as schools closed on Friday.

Only several public minibuses were plying, while most traders at the city’s central and fish markets in Hamadi area of South Jayapura Sub-district opted to not venture out of their homes. According to ANTARA’s observation following a visit to the markets, just some five fish merchants were serving the local residents.

“May Jayapura’s situation soon return to normal,” Fatimah, a merchant at the fish market, remarked.

Iqbal, a fish seller, remarked that most local traders were visibly absent at the central and fish markets on the belief that the consumers also preferred to not venture out while awaiting normalcy to return.

He affirmed that business activities at the fish market were expected to normalize on Saturday.

In another development, the Indonesian military (TNI) and police (Polri) stationed 10 trucks on Friday to move some thousand native Papuan residents home from the Papuan governor’s office that they had occupied on Thursday evening during a violent protest against the recent Surabaya incident.

The military and police trucks, deployed at around 9:15 a.m. local time, targeted to assist in sending the native Papuan demonstrators home, spokesman of the XVII/Cenderawasih Regional Military Command Lt Col Eko Daryanto noted in a press statement made available to ANTARA here on Friday.

The native Papuan residents, who had held a protest that turned to rioting, should be sent home as a precautionary measure against clashes with members of the Community Organisation of the Archipelago, or “Payuguban Masyarakat Nusantara,” who staged a rally against them, he explained.

Daryanto remarked that military and police personnel will also call on the Community Organisation of the Archipelago members, who had rejected the Papuan residents’ violent demonstration, to stop sweeping against the demonstrators, who feared returning home.

“We are also strengthening our security measures at national vital objects and are backing up the Papua provincial police to secure the rallies,” he stated.

On Thursday, the indigenous Papuan residents of Jayapura, the capital city of Papua, again demonstrated against the alleged racist slurs against their Papuan compatriots in Surabaya, East Java, on August 16, but their rally took a violent turn.

The brutal demonstrators went berserk, vandalizing and setting ablaze several government buildings. The office of ANTARA, Indonesia’s national news agency, in the city was also intentionally damaged by the demonstrators on Thursday.

On Wednesday, a circle of violence also broke out in Deiyai District, some 500 kilometers away from Jayapura. It ended with the death of an army soldier and two civilians.

On August 19, several thousand people in Manokwari, West Papua Province, and Jayapura, Papua Province, demonstrated to voice their discontent over alleged racist action against Papuan students in Surabaya and Malang, East Java.

During the rally in Manokwari, a local parliamentary building was set on fire. The demonstrators also torched tires in several parts of the city and main streets.

Source: ANTARA News