A member of Indonesia’s police who have banned the road in Kuala Kencana (Benny Giay Facebook)
Jayapura, 20/3 (Jubi) – The chairman of Gospel Church (Kingmi) Synod of Papua, Rev. Dr. Benny Giay, criticized police for blocking the road and preventing some priests from visiting the family of a victim who was shot dead during a recent tribal clash in Mimika.

“Yesterday on 17 March 2014, we wanted to visit the family of our priest who shot dead by the police  on 11 March in Timika but the police blocked the road in Kuala Kencana,” said Rev. Giay during a press conference at the Kingmi Synod of Papua in Jayapura on Thursday (20/3).

He said the incident was not the first time. Two years ago he wanted to meet the residents involved in a clash and both parties were waiting for him to speak about reconciliation.

“But at five in the morning, the Indonesian Army and the Police moved to the scene at six. They searched houses and frightened the people. Our plan to meet with residents did not materialize,” he said.

He said the church believed the root cause of the problem in Papua is differences in the comprehension and interpretation of history among different tribes.

“It can only be resolved through dialog. Please stop the policies that will only eliminate Papua gradually,” Giay said.

Based on the reason, he said the Church has issued an open letter to the Indonesian president, the Papua police chief  and the regional military commander calling authorities to address the conflict in Mimika and the situation in Papua in general.

Papua Police Spokesman, the Commissionaire Senior Sulitstyo Pudjo Hartono confirmed that police blocked the road in Mimika but declined to comment further. (Jubi/Indrayadi TH/rom)

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