Anti-racism riot in Wamena affects education and medical services in the regencies Jayawijaya and Yahukimo

The anti-racism riot in Wamena continues to affect education and medical services in the central highlands. Many non-Papuans who work in the central highlands of West Papua - among them many teachers, doctors and health workers - left in fear of ethnic violence. In the regency of Jayawijaya, the riot has caused the demolition of 25 education facilities including kindergartens, primary schools and high schools. Although schools in Wamena re-opened on 7 October 2019, many students and teachers are still traumatised after the riot and stay away from class. More than 8,000 persons in the Jayawijaya regency living with HIV/AIDS reportedly face difficulties to access health services and antiretroviral medication because 27 health centres (Puskesmas) in the areas around Wamena closed due to lack of medical staff. Medical services and education facilities in Wamena have resumed work after deployment of additional security forces.

In the regency of Yahukimo, the fear of ethnic violence has left education and medical facilities paralysed. Members of the justice, peace and integrity of creation (JPIC) desk of the Papuan Tabernacle church (KINGMI Papua) reported that all schools and health centres in Yahukimo were still closed by end of October 2019. According to information received, the only general hospital in the town Dekai (see intro image) is currently ran by only five health workers, who did not leave Dekai because they originally come from Yahukimo. Teachers are still reluctant to return to their schools because not all education facilities in Dekai have been secured by police officers.