Manokwari is the capital city of West Papua Province, located in Manokwari Regency. Geographically, this area has an area of 125.46 km² and a population of approximately 106,672 people (2019). Manokwari plays a big part in the history of West Papua.
Manokwari as a City of the Bible Enters the History of West Papua?
The “Bible City” of Manokwari is well-known. Manokwari is the earliest Papuan city mentioned in the Bible according to historical records. In February 1855, two evangelists, CW Ottow and JG Gleissler arrived on Mansinam Island in Doreri Bay. From that island, the gospel spread to the entire island of Papua.
Besides being nicknamed the City of the Bible, Manokwari is also known as the City of Fruit. Many fruits are found in Manokwari, durian, rambutan, langsat, mango, avocado, matoa, and others.
As the provincial capital, Manokwari is the center of government and economic and business activity. Both of these statuses have a significant influence on the development of Manokwari.
History of Manokwari City of the Bible
Since the history of West Papua in 1909, Irian Jaya was considered a Dutch colony, and they only realized its real power at the end of the 19th century. The first government post was established in Manokwari to strengthen the Dutch East Indies government in the Irian Jaya region.
Thus, the City of Manokwari, apart from being the first city to enter the Bible in Irian Jaya, is also the first embryo of the history of government in the Irian Jaya region and then in Fakfak. The two government posts are still under the Maluku Residency, which is domiciled in Ambon.
As a result, both positions were elevated to the status of an afdeling, or Afdeling Noord Nieuw Guinea. Northern Irian Jaya, with its capital city in Manokwari covering the area of Sorong to Jayapura, and Afdeling West Nieuw Guinea (West Irian Jaya), with its capital city in Fakfak.
Era After Independence
On August 17, 1945, Indonesia declared independence with a state jurisdiction covering the former Dutch colonies (Dutch East Indies). Since then, it has been legally recognized by the outside world. The establishment of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) covers Sabang to Merauke.
In 1955, the results of the first general election led Cabinet Ali Sastroamidjojo, Moh. Roem and Idam Chalid issued Law 15/1956 to establish the Autonomous Region of West Irian Province.
August 17, 1956, marked the 39th anniversary of Indonesia’s independence and the inauguration of the Province of West Irian. Covering the territory of West Irian, which was still occupied by the Dutch and Tidore, Oba, Veda, and Patani areas, fiber Zainal Abdin Syah, which is domiciled in Soasiu, and his inauguration was on September 23, 1956.
On December 19, 1961, in Yogyakarta, President Soekarno, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, issued the People’s Trikomando (Trikora). Then on January 1, 1962, Presidential Decree No. 1 of 1962 was issued regarding establishing a new form of West Irian Province and marking another history of West Papua.
The new West Irian Province is autonomous as part of the implementation of Article 18 of the 1945 Constitution. The indigenous people of West Irian will be given the broadest possible autonomy, which will be realized, among other things, by stipulating a native son from that region as governor.
In July 1962, negotiations began under the guidance of the acting United Nations Secretary-General, U. Thant, and Ellsworth Banker. Finally, on August 15, 1962, a historic signing called the “New York Agreement.” In the agreement, the Dutch fulfilled Indonesia’s demands to include the territory of West Irian under the control of the government of the Republic of Indonesia.
On May 1, 1963, the government of the Republic of Indonesia began to run its government in West Irian. The name of the province was later changed to West Papua, with Manokwari serving as the capital, in accordance with PP 24/2007, issued April 18, 2007. That is how West Papua’s history came to be.