Jakarta urged to help displaced Papuans

West Papua Liberation Army fighters in Nduga regency. Photo: Supplied

Indonesia’s government has been urged to deploy Red Cross personnel to West Papua to help thousands of internally displaced people.

The Papua Legal Aid Institute is worried about villagers displaced by fighting between the West Papua National Liberation Army and Indonesian security forces.

The institute’s director, Emanuel Gobay, said 57,819 Papuans were currently living in evacuation camps in and around the highlands of Papua province.

The displaced mainly come from three regencies – Nduga, Intan Jaya and Mimika – which have experienced ongoing conflicts since 2018, he said.

The Jakarta Post reported that at least 241 people had died during that time as a result of poor living conditions in temporary shelters.

Most of the shelters are in forests where the displaced have minimal access to healthy food, clean water and medicine.

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