Night at the Evacuation Site for Wamena Evacuees

Without television or any kind of entertainment, there's no warmth of interaction. Everybody was busy with their own thought.

Night at the Evacuation Site for Wamena Evacuees' photo
Ahmad Jumairi texting his son in Probolinggo, Tuesday (10/8). Ahmad was one of the evacuees in Yonif 751 Sentani due to the conflict in Wamena. (ACTNews/Eko Ramdani)

ACTNews, JAYAPURA – It was very crowded at the evacuation post in Yonif 751 Sentani headquarter on Tuesday (10/8) night. The hall that was used as a shelter for the evacuees was full, and the evacyees were even filling the front yard of the military facility. That night, the evacuees mingled and talked to each other.

They dined with bread, boiled corn, and coffee. Ahmad Jumairi (41), a resident of Wamena originated from Probolinggo, East Java, was enjoying the moment that night. He has been staying in the evacuation site since the past week. His broken hand was wrapped in bandages.

"I broke my hand. It got hit by a stone when the conflict broke out. I have been medically treated, bone pins have been installed. But now it hurts because the pen shifted," he said on Tuesday (10/8) night.

That night, Ahmad was sitting with his fellow evacuees on the porch. There were not many activities there. They were just sitting outside the hall until they feel sleepy.

Only music from one of the evacuees’ gadgets was heard. That music was like a sign that there is still life in this evacuation site. The evacuation site at Yonif 751 Sentani, Jayapura, is one of the shelters for the evacuees. For more than two weeks, thousands of people have been displaced to several evacuation sites scattered across Jayapura. Even though there are lots of people, they don’t interact with each other much. Everyone was busy with their own thoughts and activities. They were thinking about their families and their loved ones.

"I am alone here, my wife passed away a few years ago. My two children live in Probolinggo. In Wamena, I live by myself in one of the mosques," said Ahmad who works as a motorcycle taxi driver in Wamena.



The situation at Yonif 751 Sentani, Thursday (10/10), one day after the Dobonsolo Ship that carried the evacuees sailed to Bau-Bau, Makassar, and Surabaya. (ACTNews / Eko Ramdani)

Jumali (41) another evacuee at Yonif 751, Jayapura. Along with other evacuees, he sat on the porch to spend the night.

At the moment, there’s nothing that the evacuees want but to return to their places of origin, too scared to return to Wamena. After the conflict erupted, the residents of Wamena had to temporarily withdraw to regencies around Jayawijaya and the city of Jayapura. However, most of the refugees were waiting for the opportunity to return to their hometowns.

Ahmad and Jumali were among the residents who do not wish to return to Wamena in the near future. They want to return to their birthplaces in East Java. On, Thursday (10/10) they finally returned to East Java by plane with the support of Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) along with 25 other evacuees.

Besides Ahmad and Jumali, there are still thousands of others who want to return to their hometowns to recover from trauma. []

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