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‘Tragic escalation in tension’ moves churches to advocate peace

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 28, 2012) – The World Council of Churches has expressed concern at the escalation of violence in Indonesia’s Papua area, urging the authorities to stop the killings of civilians at the hands of armed forces.

It has issued a statement highlighting what it calls the tragic escalation in tension that again poses a wake-up call to Indonesia and the international community.

It insists that the grievances of the Papuan people must be addressed without further delay.

The Council says the indigenous population has suffered economic deprivation since the times of the authoritarian Suharto regime, which encouraged transmigration programs turning Papuans into a minority in their own land.

The statement has called on the churches to provide long term accompaniment and also to be engaged in advocacy on peace and security for all Papuans in their struggle for the right to life and right to dignity.

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