We experienced riots in Sorong a few months ago (August), which attracted international attention. Some countries were marking Sorong/West Papua as unsafe to travel. We had a few days where there was no internet access to Sorong, however our operations were not effected in any way. We still had communication via cellphones, so all our guests were still able to arrive and depart safely from the resort.
Some background information as to why the riots broke out and the media’s report on it…
Indonesia’s resource –rich Papua region, home to the world’s largest gold mine, saw violent riot break outs in several cities on 19th August, following allegations of racist abuse and mistreatment of Papuan students on Java Island. A separatist movement has simmered since Indonesia’s annexation of Papua, where there are frequent complaints of rights abuses by Indonesia security forces.
Large crowds also took to the streets of Jayapura the Capital of Papua Province. On the 20th August, the situation was calmer in some areas, but 200 more police officers were sent to Sorong amid continued tension. Internet speeds were lowered to “prevent hoaxes from spreading “ in the region. Many cities were without any internet for a while, however after a week internet was restored and operations were back to normal.
President Joko Widodo has sought to ease tensions in the restive region with steps as building the Trans Papua highway to spur economic activity and boost welfare.
Currently Sorong is back to normal operations and there has been no more riots, or tension in the area since August. All tourists are travelling to Raja Ampat safely and enjoying the Biodiversity of Marine life, as well as the beautiful pristine beaches, calm clear waters and culture that this amazing piece of paradise has to offer.
We hope to see you soon in the Raja Ampat!