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Pre-election violence hits district in Indonesia's Papua JAYAPURA, PAPUA - Supporters of rival political candidates have clashed in Indonesia's restive Papua province this week, just days ahead of district elections, the Jakarta Globe reported on Thursday.

Several buildings were destroyed in the Tolikara district of Papua, halting much of the activity in the district capital of Karubaga. Stores and offices have remained closed since Tuesday when the violence first erupted.

"There has been a clash between supporters of John Tabo and [running mate] Edi Suyanto and supporters of Usman Wanimbo and [running mate] Amos Jikwa," Tolikara Police Chief Rahmat Siregar told the Jakarta Globe. Tabo is supported by the Golkar Party and Usman is backed by the Democratic Party, and both are running for district head.

The local Democratic Party office and the local Central Statistics Agency (BPS) office were both set on fire on Wednesday as violence continued to escalate. "A number of important documents were destroyed and the building was burned to the ground," BPS Papua chief Djarot Sutanto told the newspaper. He added that no one was hurt in the incident.

The polls are scheduled to open on Friday. Papua has seen a spate of politically charged violence, particularly in the newly established district of Puncak Papua, where at least 30 people have been killed in a feud lasting nearly seven months.

Violence has plagued Papua since 1969 when Indonesia took over control of the region from the Dutch, ignoring Papuan demands for political sovereignty. Jakarta granted the region special autonomy in 2001, but this failed to quell widespread separatist sentiments.


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Related blog entries (category 'Violence') Tags: election, violence


Posted in Violence @ 17 February 2012 04:47 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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