8 Dec 2009

Residents in Indonesia's West Papua attack governor's office

9:15 am on 8 December 2009

Dozens of residents in Indonesia's West Papua Province attacked the governor's office in Manokwari, demanding the local government to install one tribal leader as the speaker of the provincial House of Representatives.

Angry residents yesterday tried to enter the governor's office compound after forcing the regional election office to be closed, but the crowd faced barricades and clashed with police.

Protesters damaged plantation pots outside the governor's office and even broke glasses on some windows on the governor's office.

The Jakarta Post says a back up unit deployed to the scene later, fueled a more intensive clash involving stone throwing which did not occurred before the reinforcement unit came.

Police say there were about 250 people who took part in the rally.

The protesters then moved to the Regional House of Representatives and placed a banner written with support for Obed Oyok, head of the Arfak tribe to become the speaker of the provincial house.

Obed Oyok won a seat in the local legislature through the State Democratic Party.