TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Former commissioner of National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM), Natallius Pigai, opined the Joko `Jokowi` Widodo`s administration did not have thoughtful planning to carry out the Trans Papua project in the conflict-prone area. Thus, he added, it became one of the conflict triggers that caused casualties.
“[The government] must have a well-planned strategy. Soeharto himself did not dare [to start the development project] because of potential conflict,” said Natallius in a phone call on Saturday, December 8, referring to the second President of Republic of Indonesia.
He also criticized policies issued by Jokowi that involving military forces for the project. The involvement of Indonesian military Forces (TNI) personnel in conflict-prone regions is a high-risk order considering it is potentially disturbed public security and order in Papua.
According to Natallius, civil workers also felt serious threats when they stayed with TNI while on work. “People who are threatened are civil workers because they stay among military forces,” he added.
During the planning of Papua toll road development project, Natallius along with Sipil Society had staged a protest to Jokowi in light of the involvement of TNI in the project in the conflict-prone region. However, the government maintained to deploy armed personnel. "Until what we've been worrying about happened; the shooting incident that took ones' life."
Earlier on December 2, a shooting carried out by an armed group killed 31 workers of Istaka Karya, while building bridges in Yigi River and Aurak River, Nduga, Papua.