TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Former Jakarta Deputy Governor Sandiaga Uno views that the rioting in West Papua was caused by economic problems. He said the people's anger was triggered by the inequality in the welfare of its people.
According to Sandiaga, economic independence has yet to exist in the region with rich natural resources. Based on the data he cited, the number of the poor in Papua is 28 percent higher than those in Jakarta. “No wonder they got mad," he said in Cikini, Central Jakarta, Thursday, August 22.
Since 2014 until 2018, the poverty rate in Papua increased to nearly 60,000 people, Sandi said, making Papua and West Papua as the two Indonesian provinces with the highest poverty rate.
Sandiaga says Papua needs special attention in its welfare and education issues. "We have to focus on these issues in the future."
The recent Papua unrest, where people block the road and burn tires, occurred in several cities such as Manokwari, Sorong, and Fakfak. This is allegedly triggered by acts of racism against Papuan university students in Surabaya and Malang.