KITONG MAU TANAH PAPUA DAMAI*
(Media Release: 14th Year of ELSHAM Papua Presence in the Land of Papua)
ince its founding in 5 May 1998, Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy of Papua (ELSHAM Papua) has consistently endeavored to promote observance and respect for human rights in the Land of Papua. ELSHAM Papua’s creation constitutes a response to ongoing human rights violations in Papua which warrant specific and comprehensive handling. ELSHAM is a non government organization (NGO) founded by 3 major church denomination, namely Evangelical Christian Church in the Land of Papua (GKI Di Tanah Papua), Catholic Diocese of Jayapura, and Gospel Tabernacle Church of Papua (Kingmi), with an aim to promote observance and respect for human rights in the Land of Papua.
Being then the most prominent human rights organisation to tackle gross human rights violations in Papua ELSHAM managed to provide advocacy and campaigns for a number of human right violation cases like: Biak case ( 6 July 1998), Mapnduma (August 1996), Nabire (May 2000), Abepura (7 December 2000), Wamena (6 October 2000), Wasior (June 2001), Theys Eluay (10 November 2001), Timika (October 2002), and some others. Since 1998 – 2004, ELSHAM Papua regularly intervened at the UN Human Rights High Commission in Geneva to report on the human rights situation resulting in the visits to Papua by two UN Special Rapporteurs: UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (2007) UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders (2007).
Observing the human rights situation in the Land of Papua since mid 2011 until now, there is an increase of violence. ELSHAM noted that between July to September 2011 there has been at least 28 cases of violence which took the lives of Papuan civilians as well as the Indonesian security personnel. Despite the fact that Papuans have declared their desire to create peace through Papua Peace Conference on 5-7 July 2011, nonetheless sporadic violence continued to occur in Puncak Jaya and Timika areas.
Violent acts resurfaced on 19 October 2011 when police personnel backed by the TNI force violently dispersed the Third Papuan People Congress at Zakheus soccer field in Abepura. 3 civilians were killed while 387 others arbitrarily arrested and detained for more than 24 hours.
Other violent act by security personnel also occurred through limited military operation in the Puncak Jaya and Paniai regions under Operation AMAN MATOA (Operation Secure Matoa) and Operation TUMPAS MATOA I (Operation Eradicate Matoa I) 2011. On 13 December 2011 around 07.30 AM (Eastern Indonesia Time), 6 groups of Mobile Brigade personnel attacked the head-quarter of War Area Command IV (TPN-OPM Kodap IV) of the Papua National Liberation Army at Eduda Hills in the Paniai region. A privately owned helicopter was used by the attacking Mobile Brigade force. This military offence was directly led by commander of Operation Tumpas Matoa Senior Police Commissioner Leo Bona Lubis. ELSHAM’s volunteer in Enarotali reported that as a result of this operation at least 14 people were killed, 6 were wounded, and hundreds of civilians living in nearby villages fled to Enarotali, Dogiyai and Deiyai.
Conflict and violence that erupted in Ilaga of Puncak Jaya regency was a tragedy. This conflict was triggered by provision of recommendations to two candidates who were competing for the position of Head Regency of Puncak Jaya. The central management of Gerindra Party in Jakarta recommended Simon Alom as their chosen candidate to run for the position, whilst the provincial Gerindra party officials in Jayapura recommended Elvis Tabuni, another candidate. These conflicting recommendations resulted in open conflicts between the supporters of the two candidates. War between the two opposing groups lasted from 31 July 2011 to 25 February 2012, creating a death toll of 94 people: 72 died of attacks from both parties, 22 died while taking refuge. At least 1.573 people were reported to have fled to Nabire as a result of the conflict in Puncak Jaya. Others who fled to other areas have not been documented.
Looking at the significant rising trend of violence in Papua which claimed many lives then the endeavor to create peace in the Land of Papua must be the priority of all people. Since 2002 ELSHAM Papua has actively engaged with other parties to create peace in the Land of Papua. ELSHAM Papua believed that conflicts occurring in Papua can be settled peacefully.
The people of Papua have creatively proposed for dialogue to find solutions to problems in the Land of Papua. Papuan people’s initiative to engage in dialogue with the government of Indonesia was positively responded by the Indonesian President on 9 November 2011. Until now the people of Papua still wait for realization of the intent of the Indonesian government to create peace in Papua.
Commemorating the 14th anniversary of ELSHAM Papua we would like to extend our highest appreciation to all people who incessantly work to create peace in the Land of Papua. May the effort expended to create PAPUA LAND OF PEACE can be realized.
Director of Elsham Papua
Ferdinand Marisan, S.Sos
MP : +62 (0)81344937471
* 14th year reflection of endeavor to realize justice in the Land of Papua.
***ELSHAM NEWS SERVICE provides regular reports and information on social and political development and their implication on Human Rights situation and democracy in Papua. The reports and information provided are obtained from ELSHAM PAPUA local, national and international networks. Those interested in subscribing to this service are advised to register to ELSHAM PAPUA. Please provide complete information (Name of institution/ or individual; address, etc). ELSHAM PAPUA is a human right organization with a mission to eliminate militarism, impunity, and to promote Human Rights and democracy. And to promoye human rights education for the people of Papua. ELSHAM PAPUA was founded on 5 May 1998.
- West Papua Report May 2012 (westpapuamedia.info)
- “Papuans do not feel safe in their own land” – Faith Based Network holds forum in Geneva (westpapuamedia.info)
- Journalists and foreign NGOs banned from visiting Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- Doubts grow of OPM responsibility for Puncak Jaya aircraft shooting (westpapuamedia.info)
- Violence reinforces Papua’s independence aspirations, say church leaders (westpapuamedia.info)