IPAC: Rebuilding – Lessons from Papua
Rebuilding after Communal Violence: Lessons from Tolikara, Papua, the latest report from the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC), provides a detailed analysis of the violence and the government response. The immediate cause of the outbreak was a decision of the locally dominant church, known as GIDI, to ban Muslim prayers celebrating the end of the fasting month on the grounds that they might disturb an international revival meeting that was taking place nearby. When prayers went ahead, GIDI youth threw rocks at the worshippers and police fired warning shots to stop them. Within a few hours, Papuans had torched some 60 mostly Muslim-owned shophouses, the local mosque had burned down, and unidentified gunmen had killed one Papuan teenager and injured eleven others. Two Papuans were arrested as provocateurs in a deeply flawed investigation, but neither the arsonists nor the shooters were ever identified.