TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The riot in Manokwari City, West Papua has yet to be put down. Kasuari Military XVIII commander, Regional Police Chief, and Governor Mohammad Lakatoni are at the location, trying to negotiate with the demonstrators.
"Negotiations are still ongoing. They directly meet the protesters," said National Police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo at his office in Jakarta, Monday, August 19.
However, according to Dedi, the negotiation process is hampered considering the mass remains violent. When the three officials met with the protesters, several demonstrators threw them stones. As a result, negotiations must be postponed.
"The team must retreat to calm down the situation so that the mass will be calmer," he said, adding that the negotiations will be resumed after the situation turns to conducive.
He said the police chief, military commander, and deputy governor will later face the protesters again long with Manokwari community figures.
The riot broke out today, August 19 was thought to be the aftermath of the protests over the persecution against Papuan students in Surabaya and Malang by security officers. A number of public facilities were damaged, including West Papua DPRD Building.
M ROSSENO AJI