TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The residents of Daan Mogot Baru, Kalideres, West Jakarta, demanded the relocation of asylum seekers currently sheltering in the building formerly used by the West Jakarta Military Command (Kodim), near their settlement. Since Thursday, the area has seen numerous commotions after the Jakarta government stopped giving aid to the asylum seekers.
Daan Mogot residents created a banner to deliver their demand. They also said they feel sorry for the asylum seekers who have to live in such a small space.
"It's better if they are moved to a different place," the banner says.
The banner also lists three places recommended to shelter the asylum seekers: athlete's guesthouses, the Rawa Buaya subsidized apartment, or the Serang Margaluyu apartment.
The security guard stationed at the shelter area said he didn’t know who put up the banner. He only said that it was suddenly there on August 17.
"Most likely it was put there at night," security guard Sugito said on Thursday, August 22.
The Daan Mogot residents said that the former Kodim building is not fit to house a thousand people. The place lacks basic facilities including toilets, electricity, and water.
The residents have been rejecting the presence of asylum seekers near their homes since they were first situated there.
"We are concerned about our children who go to school [near this area]," one resident who refused to be named said.
Yesterday, a fight ensued after between asylum seekers from Sudan and Afghanistan as they fought over wafers. Refugees from Sudan had to sleep on the sidewalk at night for fear of another clash.
The Jakarta administration had asked the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to repatriate the refugees. So far, the UN's refugee agency has given no response.
On August 21, the Jakarta National and Political Unity Office head, Taufan Bakri, said that asylum seekers have been breaking laws for staging protests without police permits. They have been staging demonstrations in front of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
"If they want to hold protests, they need a permit paper from the police," he said, adding that demonstrators must comply with Indonesian laws that only allow protests to last until 18:00.