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Indonesia

Widodo accused of ignoring Papua's humanitarian crisis

Indonesian president focused on infrastructure on his first major outing since he was sworn in for a second term

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Widodo accused of ignoring Papua's humanitarian crisis

President Joko Widodo meets local officials in Papua during his visit from Oct 26-28. (Photo courtesy of the Cabinet Secretariat)

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Indonesian President Joko Widodo chose the easternmost province of Papua as the first destination to visit soon after he was inaugurated for his second term.

The three days he spent there, from Oct. 26-28, are widely seen as a signal that he will prioritize a region that has been devastated by a series of bloody demonstrations over the past three months.

Nonetheless, his visit drew criticism from activists and observers, who said that that spending three days in the region did not indicate any serious intent to address its humanitarian problems.

Papua has been immersed in a violent conflict triggered by racist attacks on Papuan students in Java in August.

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