Expansion of the Papua Region

The discourse on the expansion of Papua has been rolling fast after President Joko Widodo (Jokowi's) visit to the region this week. Minister of Home Affairs (Mendagri) Tito Karnavian stated that at least one of the two new provinces in Papua is already in the finalization stage.

"The central government may only accommodate the addition of two provinces. This is what we are exploring. What is clear is that South Papua is OK," said Tito at the Ministry of Home Affairs office, Jakarta.

South Papua will take part of the Papua Province, namely Mappi Regency, Boven Digoel Regency, Asmat Regency, and Merauke Regency. To meet the minimum requirements of five districts / cities to support the new province, according to Tito, Merauke will be split into Merauke City and Merauke Regency.

"South Papua has almost no problems, including Governor Pak Lukas Enembe, there is no problem," said Tito. He also stated that the planned expansion of two new provinces in Papua was not hampered by the moratorium on the new autonomous region (DOB) that was implemented since 2014. Regarding other new provinces in Papua's Central Mountain Range, he said, was still awaiting agreement from related parties.

The province of Central Papua is under discussion to also cover areas in northern Papua which include archipelagic areas, such as Biak Numfor, Supiori, Yapen, Waropen, Serui, and the coast of Nabire. Regional heads in the region have recently been fighting for their own provinces.

After the executive and DPRP have discussed, the final approval is with the MRP. The MRP approval must pay attention to the aspects of the social, customary and cultural unity of the tribe and the community as well as the readiness of human resources as well as the economic capacity of the new territory to be formed.

The approval from the MRP then becomes the main recommendation for the center to carry out expansion. Until now there has never been any recommendation from us (MRP). I think the central government should postpone (the division discourse), said Timo.

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