Papua Police Ramp Up Arrests in Bid to Quell Tribal Violence in Timika
Police in Papua have detained 25 people in relation to a violent, multi-day clash among residents of Kwamki Lama village in Timika, an officer said on Friday.
“The police continue to cooperate with customary leaders and the society to overcome the conflict pitting residents from Upper Kwamki Lama and Lower Kwamki Lama,” National Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Boy Rafli Amar said.
Thirty people have been questioned so far, Boy said.
“Twenty-five of them have been declared suspects and were detained,” he added.
He said the 25 suspects were all from the two rival camps that have been fighting with each other.
“This is our effort to overcome the potential for more conflict and to reduce the tension in Kwamki Lama,” Boy said. “We are calling on our brothers and sisters there who are still in conflict to halt the violence because we do no not want victims to fall because of this incident.”
The police believe that the violence, marked by street skirmishes involving spears and arrows, was initially set off by a traffic accident.
This is not the first time the two groups have clashed. Most recently, fighting broke out between them in April and May, involving the same type of traditional warfare.