Moeldoko Blames Benny Wenda for Widespread Papua Unrest



Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko. TEMPO/Budiarti Utami Putri

    Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko. TEMPO/Budiarti Utami Putri

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko identified Benny Wenda as a person he recalled had committed foreign intervention that eventually caused the unrest in Papua and West Papua.

    “Isn’t it clear, that Benny Wenda [is behind it],” said Moeldoko in Jakarta today.

    He said Benny was responsible for diplomatically mobilizing masses and spreading false and misleading information. “That’s what he does in Australia and the United Kingdom,” said the chief of staff.

    Benny is known as the leader of the West Papua Liberation Movement who was charged for allegedly mobilizing the people responsible for the burning of a police headquarters back in 2002. Benny escaped from prison in the midst of a court proceeding.

    Reports suggest Benny sought political asylum from the United Kingdom in 2003 and declared to return to Papua to lead a referendum agenda in the region.

    As quoted from Tempo English Magazine, September 2-8 edition, the interview with Benny entitled “No Room for Democracy in Papua”   revealed that he istructed Papuans to not participate in the Indonesian independence annual celebrations on August 17.

    “I did write a circular several weeks before the Indonesian independence day celebrations. The contents urged Papuans not to join the ceremonies. But the demonstrations in Surabaya, which spread to Papua, were spontaneous. It was the Papuan people who acted,” said Benny Wenda in the exclusive interview with Tempo English Magazine.