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OPM must be taken seriously because they are a source of conflict in Papua


By : Timothy Gobay )*

The activities of the separatist movement calling itself the Free Papua Operation (OPM) are very dangerous. Not only has it threatened the security of the Papuan people, the separatist group has undermined the authority of the Indonesian state. 

OPM through its military wing group called the Separation and Terrorist Group (KST) continues to carry out acts of terror not only against security personnel, but also against civilians. The public’s memory of the burning of the Susi Air plane which resulted in the pilot taking the plane hostage was not forgotten, KST again attacked the TNI / Polri officers.

The shooting incident occurred in Puncak Papua Regency, on Saturday (18/2). At that time, KST burned down a house next to the Telkom Tower in Kampung Kago. Not only that, the KST Head of Water led by Titur Murib Kwalik also opened fire on the joint forces.

Not only that, KST also often spreads terror by releasing and distributing videos of violence that are carried out with the aim of making people afraid.

The separatist movement that occurred in Cenderawasih Earth is actually interesting to observe for several reasons such as the status of Papua which is the only province in Indonesia whose integration process is through an international mechanism by voting or PEPERA.

The second is that the separatist movement that occurred in Papua shows a combined character between the traditional understandings of various tribes in Papua with the symbolization of worship of Koreri or the morning star on the one hand. While the other side is led by people with a modern national ideology to carry out various dignified political lobbying. So, this can be used to lobby the Papuan people.

The third is that the separatist movement in Papua has survived for a long time and has always managed to regenerate new leaders with a fanatical and similar ideology.

According to RZ. Leirissa in her book entitled  “The History of the Irian Jaya Integration Process” (1992), the separatist movement in the land of Papua and its activities were the result of Dutch upbringing which became a time bomb and eventually exploded. The violent actions carried out by KST also killed many innocent security forces and civilians.

Halkis in his journal entitled  The Implementation of Penta Helix Counterinsurgency (COIN) Strategic Model in Reconstructing Special Autonomy for Papua  said that the handling of cases of violence that occurred in Papua requires a collaborative and holistic approach so that problems that occur can be resolved quickly and with minimal victims.

Meanwhile, Indo Survey & Strategy researchers said that conflict resolution in Papua requires a collaborative and holistic approach. The reason is that the problems that occur in Cenderawasih Earth occur in a multidimensional manner and the Papua problem cannot be solved using only a single solution. Therefore, in overcoming conflict, a clear understanding of the spectrum is needed.

Meanwhile, Member of Commission I of the DPR RI, Bobby Adhityo Rizaldi emphasized that acts of racism and separatism in Papua must be eliminated. He urged the government to act decisively against all parties who are still practicing racism and separatism in Papua. He also asked the government to intensify equal and participatory dialogue between the center and the regions.

This centralized dialogue can be carried out with stakeholders in the seven customary territories in Papua. When viewed as a whole and in depth, during the reign of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), the land of Papua has progressed with various programs. The government has not turned a blind eye to the problems in Papua either. The program carried out by the government is providing special autonomy funds (otsus), carrying out a series of friendly security operations in Papua, and making a priority agenda for national infrastructure development on that land.

The program initiated by Jokowi seems to refute the notion that Papua is being made a “stepchild” of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia. This is because the construction and security operations can later be utilized by the Papuan people and create safe conditions so that people can carry out their activities in peace.

On the other hand, apart from strengthening resilience and security in Papua and developing various programs there, the infrastructure that the government is intensively building is roads.

It is considered that the construction of this access road will expedite the distribution of goods which will save logistics costs and in the end will lower the price of goods there. President Jokowi wants the price of goods in Papua to be cheaper and more affordable in line with the smooth flow of the logistics distribution of goods in Papua.

Not only that, good infrastructure will later become a source of economic equality throughout Indonesia, especially in Papua. With this series of priority agendas, it is hoped that the separatist movement in Papua will soon be reduced and the trust of the Papuan people and the international community who are fond of intervening in Papua in the Indonesian government will improve.

)* The author is a Papuan student living in Gorontalo 

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