Benny Wenda Urges Jokowi to End Martial Law in West Papua

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Mahinda Arkyasa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Benny Wenda, requested President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to end the martial law status in West Papua.

    "The President must end martial law period in West Papua and discuss the issue," Benny said in a written statement on Friday, December 4, 2020.

    Benny invited President Jokowi to heave a discussion concerning the lives of Papua and West Papua people.

    "I am ready to discuss with the President, country to country, and agree on a process to end the conflict forever, through international mediation mechanism," Benny stated.

    Benny said that the West Papua people must make a decision and hoped that a referendum for independence starts to be drafted. Benny also underlined that there is no more time for a military operation in Papua. Benny also urged the Indonesian government to make way for the United Nations High Commission to witness the condition in Papua.

    On December 1, 2020, the ULMWP has declared the establishment of a temporary government, which intends to mobilize West Papua people, which includes the Papua and West Papua Province. The purpose of the temporary government, according to Benny, is to achieve a referendum towards independence. Benny also declared himself as president of the temporary government.

    Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD, said that the declaration of the West Papua temporary government by Benny can be categorized as a crime of treason.

    "That Benny Wenda, has persuaded [the people] to commit treason. The government responds by the Police conducting law enforcement efforts. Because if the scale of the treason is small, it is enough with law enforcement, charged with provisions concerning national security," Mahfud said in a virtual press conference on Thursday, December 3, 2020.

    EGI ADYATAMA