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Government should pay more attention addressing HIV-AIDS in Papua

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Ojeg driver participated in a workshop about HIV/AIDS in Enarotali, Paniai organised by YAPKEMA NGO – Jubi/Yapkema

HIV-AIDS still becomes a ‘scary ghost’ for Papua Province.

A data released by the Ministry of Health in March recorded that within 12 years (2005-2017) the number of people living with AIDS in Papua has reached 19,729. This number is the highest rate among other Indonesian provinces, while the total of AIDS cases in Indonesia is 102.667.

The second highest rate of AIDS occurred in East Java for 18,243, following by Jakarta at 9,215, Central Java at 8,170, Bali at 7,441 and West Java at 6,502. However, the data showed that Papua Province is at the third rank for the number of people living with the HIV (29,083) compared to Jakarta (51,981) and East Java (39,633). Following Papua in the fourth and fifth ranks are West Java and East Java with 28,964 and 22,292 cases respectively.

Given the fact that the number of population in Papua Province is lesser than the provinces of Jakarta, East Java and West Java, it makes Papua becoming the province with the highest case rate of AIDS in Indonesia until December 2017. The case rate is cumulative of the number of people living with, died from AIDS and the total number of HIV-AIDS cases per 1000,000 population.

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The case rate for Papua Province is 620,56 which 18,149 people living with AIDS and 1,580 people died from AIDS during 1987-2017, whereas West Papua Province is in the second place; at 216,46 including 1,699 people living with AIDS and 42 died from AIDS.

The updated figure for HIV-AIDS cases per 30 September 2018 in Papua Province is 38,874. It shows that Nabire Regency has the highest HIV-AIDS cases (7,420) and it followed by Jayapura Municipality at 6,189, Jayawijaya Regency at 5,964, Mimika Regency at 5,670 and Jayapura Regency at 2,918.

Most cases occurred in Papua are due to sexual intercourse with several partners which reach 14,148 (HIV) and 23,610 (AIDS), whereas another factor is the Most cases or risk factors occurred in Papua due to sexual intercourse with several partners are 14,148 (HIV) and 23,610 (AIDS). Another factor is the transmission from mother to child that reaches 212 for HIV and 473 for AIDS.

Responding to this situation, the Chairman of AIDS Commission (KPA) of Papua Province Constant Karma told Jubi on Wednesday, 22 November 2018, that firstly people must fully understand about the transmission of HIV.

He said HIV is transmitted through blood, semen, vaginal fluids if we have direct contact with wounds on the skin or open mucous membranes of people who already infected, such as mouth, nose, vagina, rectum and penis’ external urethral.

“HIV can also be transmitted through vaginal, oral and anal sex, as well as contact with blood and other body fluids. But kissing can be safe if both partners have no sore or mouth sprue. Touching, hugging and normal interacting with people infected with HIV are also safe,” he said.

He recommends people to have safe sex by using a condom and avoiding touching blood or other people’s body fluids.

“We never know who has HIV, because there is no stereotype and perhaps people don’t realise that they are already infected. So avoid to have direct contact with blood and body fluids of other people because it might have risks for HIV transmission, especially if we have open sores on any part of our body,” he said.

Karma said that the high rate of HIV-AIDS in Papua was due to people are still reluctant to conduct examinations.

“This figure indicates that the rate of people who already entered the stage of AIDS. It becomes a problem because if they get at this stage, it will be difficult to recover their condition,” he said.

Karma also said that KPA still difficulties related to funds to reduce the number of people living with HIV-AIDS in Papua. “In the past, we have collaborated with some international NGOs but not anymore because Indonesia currently regarded as a developed country. Therefore these NGOs are paying more attention to other developing countries,” he said.

Moreover, he said KPA Papua’s funds are insufficient to cover all areas of Papua, especially the mountain areas.

AIDS prevalence has reduced since 2014

Head of the Technical Implementation Unit for AIDS, TB and Malaria, Papua Health Office, dr. Beery Wopari, said that since 2014 HIV and AIDS cases in Papua had decreased, although not too significant.

“In 2014 there were 4,452 new cases found in 29 regencies and municipality, but until 2018 there were 1,993 new cases detected or found,” he said.  It means that most people are willing to conduct health examinations or do early detection of the disease, explained Wopari.

“Although it is undeniable that many people are still reluctant to conduct medical checks,” he said.

Wopari hopes that the elimination process carried out by Nabire Regency which has the highest HIV-AIDS rate can be emulated by other districts in Papua Province. Nabire District Health Office has carried out medical checks for people who come for treatment at the community centres.

“The number of people living with HIV and AIDS in Nabire is currently growing. There is a regulation that requires all community centres in Nabire to carry out the preliminary tests to all patients who come for treatment to reduce it. “It is good so that we can treat people who have been infected with HIV before the patient enters the stage of AIDS,” he said. (*)

Reporter: Roy Ratumakin

Editor: Pipit Maizier 

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A tragic story from Deiyai Regent Office

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Anti-racism protest in Waghete, the capital of Deiyai Regency, Papua, on Wednesday (28/8/2019). – Jubi/IST

Jayapura, Jubi – A rally to protest racism against West Papuans in front of the Deiyai Regent Office on Wednesday, 28 August 2019, turned to a tragedy. A local parliament member Alfret Pakage told Jubi about the tragic story.

The story began when a young man called Yustimus Takimas died in a car crash involving an Indonesian soldier. His death triggered a mass rampage that ended with the police’s gunshot.

“I don’t have an idea about what was happening at the Regent Office’s backyard because I was standing at the side door watching people coming. After the car accident that killed young Takimai, people killed a soldier who was in the car. Then, all young men joined the crowd. Some entered through the front while others from the back via BKD Office. At that time the joint security force stood at the corner of the Regent Office. I was there too facing the BKD Office,” Pakage told Jubi by phone on Wednesday, (11/9/2019).

Furthermore, he said the mob threw stones to the soldiers, and they responded it with tear gas shots. However, when they found out a soldier killed, they threw bullets against the crowd. “I told the Crime and Investigation Department Chief of Paniai Police to hold. It happened when they (security force) knew a soldier died. They shot their guns to the people,” he said.

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Then, the Military District Commandant immediately came out of his office located across the street in front of the Regent Office. “He shouted ‘my soldier is dead. Where’s the Regent? He must be responsible for this. The soldiers took their gun out. Brimob personnel were also there,” he said.

Pakage was alone at the scene, while the regent, deputy regent, local parliament members and all government officials already left their office. The police step on the body of the dead victim lying under the flagpole at the office’s front yard.

“I shouted at them to stop.” While he was confused about how to stop it, he also could not do anything because he was alone and under gun threat.

“I saw people died lying under the flagpole. It’s just me. I was alone. When the soldiers found out that people taken away their guns, they prevented me from being a mediator. They even pointed their guns against me and said ‘you want to back up or not? If not, you’ll be responsible for this’. After that, I backed up. But I still told them not be overwhelming,” he said.

Furthermore, according to Pakage, he moved to a kiosk opposite the Regent Office to join some police officers of Mee origin. It was only 17:12 but already so quiet, and nobody dared to pass. He then saw the ambulance from Deiyai Public Hospital going to the scene.

“I saw the ambulance coming from Deiyai Public Hospital to collect West Papuans who injured and fell because of the shooting. But the police came to block the car, pulled out the victims and took the ambulance’s key. They put their injured friends (soldiers), sent both driver and medical workers home. Then ambulance went to Paniai and left the injured West Papuans,” he said.

It was getting late, so he hurried to go home. He reminded himself that he must keep safe from the danger. Of returning home, he observed that Waghete became so quiet. Only found the security forces standing along the street from the Regent Office to Waghete II until the airport compound.

On the next day, Thursday (29/8/2019), he returned to the scene to check whether the dead bodies are still there or taken to the hospital.

“I only saw the soldiers standing along the street. I didn’t meet any residents. First of all, I checked the Deiyai Public Hospital, but the gate was locked and no activities there. I came inside knocking the door but no one there. So, I went to the scene to check whether the victims are still there or not. So I parked my vehicle at the entrance of the Regent’s office. Suddenly, the joint security force came investigating me with anger.

“They asked, ‘where are our guns?’ I told them I am also a part of this country. Those weapons are the state’s tools; I try to find those losing guns. However, the victims were not there anymore. So I went to Damabagata, Tigi Timur sub-district because I heard from someone that they keep the weapons there. At that time, the Military District Commandant was well-equipped guarding at the intersection of Waghete, Dogiyai and Paniai,” he said.

He continued the story by saying that the Paniai Police then asked him to come to their office as a witness. “At that time, the police acted without thinking. It was a big mistake. They examined me as a witness at the regency police station,” he said.

Meanwhile, Father Santon Tekege Pr said the investigation of the Secretariat of Peace and Justice (SKP) of Paniai Dean – Timika Diocese concludes that a car accident involving a soldier that caused the death of Yustinus Takimai triggered this shooting incident.

“As a result of the gunfire and tear gas shots, seven civilians were dead, while 43 people injured with both minor and serious injuries,” said Father Santon. (*)

Reporter: Abeth You
Editor: Pipit Maizier

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JDP: Government must arrange the customary-based dialogue in Papua

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Pastor Jhon Bunay Pr, JDP Coordinator. – Jubi/Hengky Yeimo

Jayapura, Jubi – A dialogue on Papua should represent the people of Papua, Father Jhon Bunay Pr, the Coordinator for Papua Peace Networks (JDP), told reporters in a press conference held in Jayapura on 7 September 2019.

“The dialogue should conduct in seven Papuan territories, namely Mamta, Anim Ha, Lapago, Meepago, Saireri, Domberai and Bomberai and involve each representative of the central government, military and police, liberation army, Papuans living in Papua, Papuans domicile outside of Papua, other residents of Papua, investors and mass media,” he said.

Furthermore, he emphasises that the involvement of indigenous representatives in the dialogue is crucial. He hopes the government does not initiate the discussion with Papuans from outside of Papua because it could make problems difficult to solve.

“We are the same. We are brothers, no suspicion. There shouldn’t be the police or military’s spies or those who have no concern come in this dialogue. It’s important to ensure that everyone is free to express their feeling and thought, and we’ll find a solution together,” he said.

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He also reminds the government to not organising the dialogue in the form of a seminar. It would not work in terms of producing a satisfactory result for everyone. “We will never find a real solution (through seminar); the result is null. Instead, we must invite local peoples to speak,” he said.

Moreover, he says the dialogue between Jakarta and Papua would never happen due to the high suspicions amongst stakeholders. “Perhaps we are too suspicious of each other. Talking about Papua’s issues should not be done with another approach, because the dialogue is the best approach,” he said.

Therefore, he said the relevant stakeholders must sit together to recover painful and bitter memories during the long conflict that occurred in Papua, including to put suspicious away.

“We must do reconciliation in the seven Papuan territories with involving all relevant stakeholders in Papua. Meanwhile, other components such as military and police, liberation army, Papuans from inside and outside of Papua, other residents of Papua, and mass media must attend (and involved in the process of) in the reconciliation,” he said.

Therefore, the process of reconciliation will turn out to be a transformation point for Papua to plan the best future for Papua. He also reminds that instead of discussing Papua in or inside Indonesia, it is more important to talk about the indigenous rights in Papua, and the welfare of all indigenous Papuans.

“I believe that the dialogue will solve all the problems from the past. Using guns, arresting and putting people in jail would not solve the problem. Instead, it makes it worse,” he says.

Meanwhile, JDP Deputy Daniel Randongkir said authorities must prioritise the principles of human rights and justice. “Once again, for JDP, the dialogue is the only way to solve the problem in Papua with rights and pure. Therefore it can be solved on behalf of justice and dignity,” he said. (*)

 

Reporter: Hengky Yeimo
Editor: Pipit Maizier

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ULMWP: Military and mass organisation in Surabaya are responsible for demonstration waves in Papua

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Papuan Governor Lukas Enembe welcoming the anti-racism protestors on 19 August 2019. – Documentation of the Public Relations of Papuan Provincial Government.

Jayapura, Jubi – Buchtar Tabuni, the Chairman of Legislative Committee of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), declined that ULMWP was behind the mass protests and rampages in Papua. Instead, he accused the Indonesian military, and local mob committed in persecution and racism against Papuan students in Surabaya are responsible for these incidents.

“Those who should be responsible for these protests and rampages in Papua are soldiers, police officers, municipal police officers and the local mob in Surabaya. Those who attacked Papuan students and called them ‘monkeys’ have triggered demonstrations occurred in Papua,” he told Jubi on Sunday (8/9/2019) in Waena, Jayapura.

He further said that for the couple last weeks, the Indonesian Government has attempted to build a discourse to put the ULMWP as the actor behind the anti-racism movements in Papua. “The Indonesian government is panic, terrifying in addressing the issue of free Papua that currently becomes a headline in the rest of the world thanks to the South Pacific countries,” he said.

He also said the way military and police in addressing the outrage speared amongst Papuans is not right. Instead of acting promptly, the government denied the persecution and racism against Papuan students in Surabaya. They even deployed more soldiers to Papua. “ULMWP considers the current situation is similar to what had happened in Timor Lester ahead to their independence,” he said.

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Moreover, Tabuni stated the struggle for a referendum is open for everyone in Papua, including the migrants. He said the migrants have two options to response the growing demand of referendum amongst Papuans. “First, if they want to stay, they must declare their support to referendum for West Papua, just like indigenous Papuans did. Second, if they want to return to their hometowns, they must go nicely, like Papuans student currently did,” he said.

Separately, Victor Yeimo, the Spokesperson of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), said Papuan people are not ‘animals’. They are not easy to provoke by the ULMWP, KNPB, Veronika Koman or Benny Wenda. People go to the street because they want to fight against colonialism.

“The Indonesian Government still perceive Papuans as sub-human (half-animal) who easy to provoke. Up to now they always blame on particular organisations or certain people as the actors. Just asks Papuans whether they go to the street because of being provoked by KNPB? Veronica Koman? Benny Wenda? The answer is not,” he said. (*)

Reporter: Hengky Yeimo
Editor: Pipit Maizier

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