Thousands evacuated due to unrest in Indonesia's Papua

VNA
Thousands of residents in Indonesia's Papua scrambled to board military planes on September 27, fleeing urban unrest after one of the region's deadliest eruptions of violence in years.

People are evacuated to a military camp in Wamena city of Indonesia's Papua province (Photo: AFP/VNA)

People are evacuated to a military camp in Wamena city of Indonesia's Papua province (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Anger over racism against indigenous Papuans by residents from other parts of Indonesia has fuelled weeks of angry protests in the impoverished region, as well as fresh calls for self-rule, AFP reported.

Violence broke out again this week in Wamena city where over 20 people were killed. 

Authorities said that some were burned alive when buildings were set on fire, while others were stabbed during the chaos.

Around 6,000 soldiers and policemen were sent to Papua and West Papua to stabilise the situation.

Some 700 Wamena residents, mostly migrants from other parts of the country, were evacuated to other parts of the country, the military said.

Up to 1,500 other residents gathered at a local airport on September 27 in a bid to leave, while at least 2,500 people had registered to get aboard flights.

A low-level separatist insurgency has simmered for decades in the former Dutch colony after Jakarta took over Papua in the 1960s.

A UN-sponsored vote to stay within the archipelago in 1969 was widely viewed as rigged, but Jakarta has long refused to consider another referendum.

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