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Reports West Papuans shot dead by Indonesian forces

Monday 21 March 2022 | Written by RNZ | Published in Regional

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Reports West Papuans shot dead by Indonesian forces
Photo: Free West Papua Movement

Two West Papuans were reportedly shot dead by security forces last Tuesday during peaceful protests against Indonesia's plans to create six more provinces in Papua.

According to sources on the ground, at least seven others sustained injuries when the demonstrations turned violent in Dekai - the capital of Yahukimo Regency.

Three protesters are in critical condition at the Dekai Regional General Hospital.

West Papua Media coordinating editor Nick Chesterfield said the indigenous residents of Yahukimo don't agree with Jakarta's expansion plans.

Chesterfield said the Indonesian Government is promoting the idea that the creation of new provinces will improve the welfare of the people.

But he said the indigenous people see it as a "divide and rule tactic" by Jakarta and further militarisation of West Papua.

"Whilst they talk about decentralisation and delivery of services on the ground, the reality is that every new province gets another new battalion of military and another new battalion level of police. It's really about the militarisation of West Papua that most of the people have been objecting to these divisions," he said.