Rangga Eka Sakti
Comment on the Troubled Papua
Papua that is located in eastern Indonesia has been one of the most conflicted areas in Indonesia. Vertical and even horizontal conflict appeared since the early independence of Indonesia. The feeling of neglected and over exploitation of natural resources that had been going for a long time triggered rebellion to separate from Indonesia. The unique culture in Papua also triggered a horizontal conflict that is unsolved till recent time. Political elites also play a big role in the conflict. Chaotic election triggered a conflict between political sympathizers.
The problem has not been solved although it has been going for a long time. The government seems to take this trouble not as an urgent thing. Although government made some policies to contain it, the problem seemed to be too “dark” for the government to solve it. The geographical gap is one factor that makes this problem become difficult to be solved. This is the homework for Indonesian government to be done as soon as possible. The unresolved conflict can affect many aspects of Indonesia such as security and economy. If the conflict goes to another level, the investor that invests their money in Papua may withdraw their investment and cause a severe lost in Indonesian national income. The separatist that still fight for their freedom can also damage Indonesian sovereignty and unity.
In conclusion, Papua has great potential on it. Big treasure of natural resources will be wasted in vain if the conflict goes for more years. Government should set this problem as one of its priority and end the conflict until its root as soon as possible. It is the responsibility for the government to keep the comprehensive stability and sovereignty in Indonesia.