Buildings torched as fresh unrest erupts in Indonesia

2019-09-23 12:12
A building burns as fresh protests break out in Wamena. (Vina Rumbewas, AFP)

A building burns as fresh protests break out in Wamena. (Vina Rumbewas, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Fresh unrest broke out in Indonesia's restive Papua region on Monday as protesters burned down a government office and other buildings in Wamena city, according to an AFP reporter.

Houses and stores also went up in flames as hundreds took to the streets, while another demonstration erupted in the provincial capital Jayapura, where security forces fired warning shots above stone-throwing protesters at a university, according to another AFP reporter.

Monday's protests in Wamena - mostly involving high schoolers - were allegedly sparked by racist comments made by a teacher, according to Indonesia's Kompas.com.

Police said the situation was under control in Wamena, as an AFP reporter there said internet services had been cut.

"The army and police have successfully handled the incident in Wamena," said National Police spokesperson Dedi Prasetyo.

"Security forces have also taken steps to prevent the riots from spreading," he added.

The latest unrest comes as Papua - on the western half of New Guinea island - has been gripped by weeks of violent protests fuelled by anger over racism, as well as fresh calls for self-rule in Indonesia's easternmost territory.

Demonstrations broke out across the region and in others parts of the Southeast Asian archipelago after the mid-August arrest and tear-gassing of dozens of Papuan students, who were also racially abused, in Indonesia's second-biggest city, Surabaya.

A low-level separatist insurgency has simmered for decades in Papua, a former Dutch colony, after Jakarta took over the mineral-rich region in the 1960s. A vote to stay within the archipelago was widely viewed as rigged.

Indonesia has sent thousands of security personnel to Papua to quell the unrest, and dozens were arrested for instigating the earlier riots. At least five demonstrators and a soldier were killed, but activists say the civilian death toll is higher.

Last week the military said a toddler and teenager were among three people killed in a gunfight between security forces and independence-seeking rebels.

Read more on:    indonesia
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.