Indonesia must reach political deal with Papua: ICG (AFP)

03 Aug Indonesia must reach political deal with Papua: ICG (AFP)

JAKARTA — Indonesia must reach a political settlement with restive Papua province to prevent simmering anger about broken promises of autonomy boiling over into violence, a think-tank said Tuesday.

Indigenous resentments over the eastern territory’s autonomy came to a head last month when protesters presented the provincial parliament with demands including a referendum on independence and international mediation.

This was followed by a promise from Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to audit central government spending in Papua and West Papua provinces to ensure their special autonomy status was being well implemented.

In a new report, the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (IGC) said an audit would not be enough unless it was followed by a genuine attempt to negotiate with indigenous Papuans about their political aspirations.

Indonesian officials all too often demonstrated a “contemptuous disdain” for indigenous Papuan representatives, even those who accepted autonomy within the Indonesian state and did not advocate independence, it said. … Go to article.