All tour operators and related tourism businesses have been urged to reconsider offering services to tourists, especially foreign visitors, who want to hike Mount Jayawijaya or Mount Carstensz in Papua province over safety concerns.
“[This advisory was issued] to anticipate the potential of security interference and guarantee the safety of foreign tourists, particularly those seeking to enter limited areas including the Carstensz Pyramid,” said Mimika Police chief Agung Marlianto in the advisory issued by Mimika precinct police (Polres) on Monday as quoted by .
Standing at 4,884 meters above sea level, Carstensz Pyramid or Puncak Jaya is the highest summit of Mt. Jayawijaya and the tallest mountain in Indonesia.
The advisory specifically called on tour operators, airlines and air transportation service providers at Mozes Kilangin International Airport in Timika to reconsider offering hiking tours to Ilaga, Nduga, Sugapa and Carstensz Pyramid base camp.
Agung also urged all parties to keep communicating with the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Police (Polri) to help control and monitor the mobility of foreign citizens to keep them away from any threats and disturbances.
Denny Engka from the Carstensz Expedition hiking operator told kompas.com on Tuesday that the advisory was issued as a result of the riots that erupted in Wamena and Oksibil.
“Operators and travel agencies have had a meeting with the Immigration Office, Polri, the Foreign [Ministry] and related institutions concerning [this matter]. Hiking permits will not be processed until [the situation in] Papua has calmed down,” said Denny, adding that the advisory was issued right after the riots in the two regions.
Denny said this was the second advisory issued by Polres Mimika regarding the matter. “In accordance with the policy of the regional police, hiking activities at Mt. Carstensz are not allowed when the situation in Timika is unsafe.”
“Hopefully [the situation in] Papua will be calm again soon,” Denny added. (kes)