Graphic shows locations of protests and timeline of West Papua region.


Fresh unrest erupts in Indonesia’s Papua province

By Mike Tyler

September 23, 2019 - Hundreds of protesters in Indonesia's restive Papua province set fire to homes and other buildings Monday in a protest sparked by rumours that a teacher had insulted students, and a soldier was killed in another protest in the region, police said.

An angry mob torched local government buildings, shops and homes and set fire to cars and motorbikes on several roads leading to the district chief's office in the town of Wamena, AP reported.

Police said the protest was triggered by allegations that a high school teacher in Wamena who is not from Papua called an indigenous Papuan student “monkey” last week.

Video circulated on the internet showed dozens of people, many armed with machetes, standing in front of their shops and homes to protect them from the angered mob.

Indonesia’s military said that at least one soldier was killed Monday in a clash with students at a local university in Jayapura. Media reports said three students also died in the incident.

The protests came days after Indonesian authorities managed to get the province under control after weeks of violent protests against alleged racism in the region. At least one Indonesian soldier and four civilians were killed in that violence.

PUBLISHED: 23/09/2019; STORY: Graphic News
Graphic News Standards