Thousands scramble to flee unrest in Indonesia’s Papua

WAMENA, Indonesia (AFP) – Thousands of residents in Indonesia’s Papua scrambled to board military planes on Friday, fleeing urban unrest after one of the region’s deadliest eruptions of violence in years. Anger over racism against indigenous Papuans by residents from other parts of Indonesia has fuelled weeks of angry protests in the impoverished region, as well as fresh calls for self-rule. Violence broke out again this week in Wamena city where over two dozen people were killed.

Authorities said that some were burnt alive when buildings were set on fire, while others were stabbed during the chaos.

Some 700 Wamena residents – mostly migrants from other parts of the country – were evacuated to other parts of the country, the military said.