Police Chief Says Economic Factors Trigger Papua Shooting

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - National Police Chief Tito Karnavian said that economic factors had triggered attacks in Papua, including the recent shooting of bridge project workers in District Yall, Nduga Regency.

    "The main problem of armed groups' attacks is the development projects, the welfare [of the community]," Tito said after attending a press conference with President Joko Widodo at Presidential Palace, Jakarta, Wednesday, Dec. 5.

    According to Tito, these groups are eager to show their existence allegedly due to the slow development of infrastructure projects, which is caused by the geographic structure. However, the government does not stop to open road access of Trans Papua for 4,600 km.

    Read: Police Chief: Papuan Armed Group used Stolen Firearms

    "They're waiting for the development; [since] this project opens access for them. But these armed groups can hardly wait [for the project to soon be finished], so they show their existence [by launching attacks]." 

    The harsh geographic condition hampers the development process of the Trans Papua project. The police chief said such incidents often used to happen in West Papua but since the development in the region has been running well, the disruptions rarely occur.

    On December 2, dozens of Istaka Karya workers were attacked by an armed group in Kali Yigi and Kali Aura, Nduga Regency, Papua. The information on the number of casualties is yet to confirm but previously, reports said it reached 31 people.