Security force members deployed in Jayapura, Papua, to restore order amid unrest in several cities in Papua and West Papua since Aug. 19. (Antara Photo/Zabur Karuru)

Soldier Killed by Mob During Jayapura Protest


SEPTEMBER 23, 2019

Jakarta. A soldier died after he was attacked by protesting students in Jayapura, Papua, on Monday morning.

Cendrawasih Military Command spokesman Lt. Col. Eko Daryanto said in a statement that the soldier, identified as Private Zulkifly, was attacked by a group of people, believed to be members of the Papuan Students Alliance (AMP), who slit his throat. He was taken to a nearby hospital, but declared dead on arrival.

The soldier reportedly drove a military truck transporting AMP members arrested during a protest to demand that the university accommodate students who had earlier left their places of study in other parts of the archipelago over safety concerns following a racial incident in Surabaya, East Java, in August.

"A mob, among them AMP members, attacked members of the security forces, resulting in the death of a soldier of the 751 Raider infantry battalion, Chief Private Zulkifly, who had been deployed to reinforce the Papua Police," Eko said.

The spokesman said the incident occurred at around 11 a.m. local time, while the victim was relaxing after transporting the students to an area near the Expo Waena Cultural Park. The students allegedly encouraged bystanders to join them in the attack.

The security forces have since managed to restore order. Several civilians were also wounded in the violence.

Wamena Riot

Separately on Monday, a riot broke out in Wamena in Jayawijaya district, also in Papua Province.

The incident started off as a brawl after residents and students of PGRI High School protested alleged racist comments by a teacher of Yapis High School.

"Regarding the racist statement, it was false information. We have questioned the teacher and we can confirm that there was no such statement," Papua Police spokesman Chief Comr. Ahmad Musthofa Kamal said on Monday.

He said about 200 people involved in the incident subsequently went on a rampage, setting fire to governmenment buildings, public facilities and private property.

"Members of the police and military are still trying to restore order," Ahmad said.

Wamena Airport has been closed due to the riot.

Governor Calls for Calm

Papua Governor Lukas Enembe has meanwhile called on the people of the province, especially students who had returned home from their studies elsewhere in the country, to refrain from violence.

"Stop all evil activities; if you want to study, return to your study locations if the places are considered safe," he said on Monday, as quoted by Antara news agency.

The governor condemned Monday's violence in Jayapura and Wamena.

He added that the government would provide transportation to students wishing to resume their studies across the country.