Traumatized doctors seek transfer from Wamena following mass murders

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - Tens of fearful and traumatized doctors have requested a transfer from Wamena, Papua Province, following the murders of 30 people, including a doctor, during an anarchic rally on September 23, 2019, an official stated.

"It is true. Fear and trauma have prompted doctors in Wamena to seek a transfer. Several of them have also already moved to Jayapura," Dr Silvanus Sumule, head of the Papua Health Office, remarked here on Thursday.

The Papua Health Office was not able to stop them from leaving but will attempt to find others to replace them.

"We cannot stop them (from leaving), as they must be quite scared and traumatized by the situation during that time," he stated, adding that the incident of demonstrators lynching Dr Soeko Marsetiyo might have elicited fear in them.

Some 25 doctors from Jayapura will be sent to Wamena to restore public health services there.

In the meantime, the remains of Dr Marsetyo will be moved to Jayapura by the Indonesian Air Force's Hercules aircraft from Wamena.

Marsetyo had served people in the hinterland of Papua Province for 15 years but was murdered by a mob during the rally, mostly involving senior high school students, held to express opposition and angst over an alleged racial slur by a teacher.

This violent rally claimed the lives of 30 people, mostly non-native Papuans, while 70 others suffered injuries and hundreds of government and private buildings were set ablaze. The victims had been assaulted by rioters brandishing machetes and arrows. The masterminds behind this deadly riot are allegedly members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). On Sept 24, the military and police personnel evacuated residents trapped inside their homes and kiosks that the rioters had set on fire.

The violence might have been fueled by the spread of hoaxes through social media platforms that had infuriated Wamena's residents, Papua Police Chief Inspector General Rudolf A. Rodja remarked while speaking in connection with the rioting.

Following the riot, over 1,200 people were keen on leaving Wamena.

Source: ANTARA News

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