The ‘Entangling Cycle of Violence’ Behind Unrest in Indonesia’s Papua Region

A Papuan activist with her face painted with the colors of the separatist Morning Star flag during a rally near the presidential palace, Jakarta, Indonesia, Aug. 22, 2019 (AP photo by Dita Alangkara).
A Papuan activist with her face painted with the colors of the separatist Morning Star flag during a rally near the presidential palace, Jakarta, Indonesia, Aug. 22, 2019 (AP photo by Dita Alangkara).
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Indonesia’s Papua region has been rocked by violent protests in recent weeks in response to racist incidents against indigenous Papuans. Dozens of protesters have been killed, and in one particularly hard-hit town, 16,000 residents were forced to flee the violence. Papua is ethnically and culturally distinct from other parts of Indonesia, and the region has seen decades of low-intensity conflict due to the presence of separatist groups. In an email interview with WPR, Simon Philpott, a senior lecturer in international politics at Newcastle University and specialist on Indonesia, discusses the factors behind the recent unrest in the context of a […]

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