Ecumenical Forum of Papuan Churches further appeal to President Joko Widodo

In addition to the pastoral appeal for solidarity and action and the second appeal to withdraw army and police from Papua among other requests, the Church Leaders and from GKI Tanah Papua, GIDI, Fellowship of Baptist Churches and KINGMI Papua have signed on 1 October 2019 an open letter to President Joko Widodo.. Through this Letter the Ecumenical Forum of Churches in the Land of Papua: Pastor Andirkus Mofu, Pastor Dorman Wandikbo, Pastor Socrates Yoman and Pastor Benny Giay, faced with the reality of the problems explained above make the following recommendations:

a. In order for the Papuan problem to be solved there should be peaceful negotiations as the Indonesian Government did with GAM from Aceh which ended with the Helsinky Agreement. In this spirit we submitted our Pastoral Letter on August 26, 2019 to the National Police Chief and the Army Commander; Point 6 of the Pastoral Letter urges the Government of Indonesia to act fairly towards Papua by negotiating with ULMWP and OPM that would give birth to a new Treaty in whichever location was agreed with ULMWP and the Government of Indonesia (eg. Sydney, New York, Washington or Amsterdam).

b. Stop all efforts to divert the issue of racism to other matters (point 2 and 3 above) and free the prisoners that are held by the Papuan Police which we see as part of b.1. Direct talks to tackle the roots of the problem should not give rise to new problems such as the decentralization or break up of the Province or the building of a Palace etc. and does not serve those who continue to scapegoat those who they consider "separatists", accusing Benny Wenda or ULMWP as provocateurs.



c. We share these recommendations in order to find a solution to build a "Permanent Peace in the Land of Papua" so that the next generation can go to school in peace not like our generation and the generations before us.

d. With prayer and enthusiasm, we ask that as of now and as we move forward all development policies in the land of Papua tackle the real roots of the problems that we have mentioned.

e. Churches and Theological Colleges should be active in examining and discussing the four root problems mentioned above in order for us to move towards the realization of Papua as a land of Peace and Prosperity.

The letter continues:


While writing this letter we heard that Mr. Paulus Waterpauw was sworn in as the Head of Police right on time (days, months, years this Church forum has watched one million Papuans being confronted by the racist Government of Indonesia who was protecting 250 million Indonesians). In more than 50 years the government has implemented development policies and frameworks that breed racism. Therefore we receive the new appointment of the Head of Police with hope that he will join with the Papuan Church Forum to respond to the concerns of more than one million Papuans and:

a. Stop Jakarta from sending troops to Papua and together with the Forum pressure the Central Government to pull troops from all of Papua including Nduga.

b. Provide opportunities for people and church congregations to start to heal their trauma beginning in Jayapura by:

i. Releasing the 24 prisoners who were arrested due the protest on 29 August 2019.

ii. Capture and arrest the actors of violence from the Red and White Front and the Nusantara Militia who have been spreading terror, slashing people, killing Papuans and hunting highland Papuans between 29 August to 2 September 2019.

iii. Work with the Forum to ensure that there are no more grenades left in Nduga (to prevent an event similar to what happened in Mapenduma during the hostage crisis in 1996 when dozens of children were injured).

iv. Work together with the Forum to organize pastoral care to take place in Nduga or anywhere else in Papua where it is needed such as Deiyai, Puncak and Puncak Jaya.

Download the open letter in English as PDF here

Download the open letter in Bahasa Indonesia as PDF here