Papua Unrest; VP Kalla Acknowledges Foreign Involvement

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Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Vice President Jusuf Kalla in an interview today acknowledged the existence of “foreign” involvement in the widespread demonstration across Papua and West Papua which lasted more than two weeks, however, he maintains that this foreign actor he refers to is not a state actor.

    “The involvement of foreigners is possible. But not state actors. State actors is different from foreign actors,” said the Vice President at his office in Central Jakarta today, September 4.

    The VP’s beliefs are further verified by the four Australian nationals that incriminated themselves in the demonstration in Papua, specifically at the headquarters of the Mayor of Sorong. He also mentioned the involvement of Benny Wenda, the main figure behind the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).

    “Benny Wenda who’s currently settled in Britain gave instructions or something in that sense, he’s not an Indonesian national and is a citizen of the U.K. That can be considered as foreign involvement,” said the vice president.

    Suspicions of foreign involvement were initially voiced by Indonesian National Police General Tito Karnavian who claims local Papuan rebel groups involved in the demonstrations have connections with groups abroad.

    EGI ADYATAMA