PAPUA’S PEACE RECOMMENDATION : Substantial Dialogue, Building Positive Narratives, and Archipelago Insights

West Tabloid –  As a young Papuan, I am grateful to be part of the spirit of setting up Indonesia’s future. We Papuan youths continue to actively participate in producing real efforts for Indonesia.

Actually, I have been preparing for the book I wrote since 2020, but it can only be launched now. Most of the data I took for my book came from my thesis at the Defense University.

West Papua News – In this book, the content is about the importance of dialogue related to various issues that exist in the country, not only the problems in Papua. Everything has to be talked about. That’s what Papua needs. If we want peace, then we must prepare for that peace. Everything must be arranged so that it can run according to what we need. Now is the perfect time to prepare for that peace.

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My book talks about the conflict of integration in Papua, racial equality with the Pacific Islands, the validity of the 1969 Determination of People’s Opinion, the granting of Special Autonomy, the strengthening of ethno nationalism, to the issue of the June 29, 1999 Dialogue. These are some of the things explained in the introduction to the conflict of integration in Papua.

West Papua News – I wrote from three perspectives: government, researchers, and mass organizations. The government’s perspective is taken from the perspective of the Coordinating Minis-try for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, the researcher’s perspective is taken from LIPI, and the perspective of mass organizations from the pro referendum circles. In my re-search, it was established that there are many things that are not in line with the mapping of Papua’s conflict, from the escalation of the conflict, the roots of the conflict, to the political will of the authorities.

According to the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, the history of Papua can be observed from 1908, which is since the National Awakening. In early 1908, the conflict started as a dispute, then tensions escalated until 1949, then the 1954 crisis, and the mass violence in 1962. Currently,the conflict in Papua has declined.

According to LIPI, the escalation of conflict in Papua began in 1945.There was mass violence in the implementation of the People’s Triple Command (Tri Komando Rakyat.) In 1977, there was mass violence,namely the war between the Free Papua Organization (OPM) and the TNI-Polri. The conflict then waned until 2001, then escalated again in 2019, but only entered level four which is violence on a limited nature.

According to pro referendum parties, many military approaches have been taken in Papua. From 19651998, there was Operation Sadar. Offensive actions continue to be carried out but are categorized as limited violence. This is done until 2019.

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Therefore, the perspective of the Papuan conflict is different. This needs to be seen jointly. When you want to live in peace, the perspectives must be the same. After being mapped, the roots of the Papuan conflict turned out to be a matter of history and differences in interests. The accelerator is miscommunication between the government and a range of conflicts. Another accelerator is social media which contains a lot of hoaxes, so that the Papuan conflict is getting more fertile on a daily basis. Misuse of social media makes it very easy for any one to make news, convey it, and make their own opinions.

There is also support from outside countries which causes the Papua conflict to persist. As a result, many things nourish the Papua conflict.There are also groups of provocateurs who kill people and in flame racism. There are also ex military members who still use their military gears to make things worse.

The vulnerable groups in this situation are students and youth groups,and the community. When there is a hoax, they can easily change their mindset. For instance students,the initial mindset is learning, but if influenced by certain groups, the mindset can change.

The action plan in resolving the conflict is dialogue. Even this has different perspectives. The government sees dialogue in the perspective of substantial dialogue or development dialogue. LIPI sees that the first stage of dialogue is the Papuan internal dialogue and the next stage is the Papua Jakarta dialogue.Meanwhile, pro referendum organizations want dialogue to look at Papua’s history and prepare for a referendum. With these different perspectives, how can we resolve the conflict? This should be a mutual record.

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In conclusion, the journey of the Papuan conflict is very complex because it originates from all types of conflicts, namely relationship conflicts, structural conflicts,value conflicts, data conflicts, and conflicts of interest, as well as different understandings of history and different methods of resolving through dialogue. The Papua Jakarta political dialogue is no longer relevant because it threatens the nation’s sovereignty. Therefore,the reconstruction of the Papua conflict resolution must be carried out with the same perception and strategy in conflict resolution.

My book’s recommendation is to form a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, continue to carry out substantial dialogue, build positive narratives, and incorporate archipelago insight in the curriculum of learning.

*Steve Rick E Mara Author of the Book “We All Want To Live In Peace”, Papuan Indigenous People (OAP) Excerpted from the Book Review of the “We All Want to Live in Peace” Webinar,Tuesday, September 14, 2021

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