The president urged people to forgive each other after the riots on Monday [Willy Kurniawan/Reuters]

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has sought to ease tensions after violent protests in several cities in the West Papua region following claims of racist abuse and physical mistreatment of Papuan students.

In a statement late on Monday, the president, also known as Jokowi, urged people to forgive each other after the riots, adding that the government will try to look after “the honour and welfare of all people in Papua and West Papua”.

“My brothers and sisters in Papua and West Papua, I know you feel offended. Therefore, as fellow countrymen, to forgive each other is the best. You may get angry but forgiving is better,” Jokowi said.

“It’s

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