Kontras: SBY must prioritiser the Papuan problem and stop the Escalation of Violence


There are fears that the prospects for peace in the land of Papua will become increasingly difficult for three reasons. The first is the escalation in the level of violence that has been disrupting the situation in Papua. The second is the total lack of accountability regarding security operations in Papua by the TNI, the Indonesian army, and Polri, the police force., and the third is the ambivalence in the President’s attitude towards the Papuan problem. If nothing is done
about these three problems, it can lead to activities that would be counter-productive for achieving a dignified solution to the Papuan situation.

The first problem, the latest in the occurrence of acts of violence in Papua, happened on Sunday, 21 August when a man named Das Komba, 30 years old, was found dead, having been murdered near his garden. Prior to this, there was information that the TNI in Arso would be holding training exercises near this man’s garden. Two women who usually garden nearby had met several people who were thought to be members of the TNI somewhere near the garden. This led to people in the vicinity becoming very fearful and feeling very unsafe. The killing came on top of a spate of incidents of violence and killings [altogether nine during August] that have occurred in Papua, particularly in the wake of the Papuan Peace Conference .

The second problem relates to the deployment of TNI forces and the role of Polri in Papua. The deployment of troops is not related to any political decision by the President or the Indonesian parliament, the DPR RI, but was promoted by the TNI. Such a political move should be accompanied by a clear mechanism for accountability as provided for in our laws. It is therefore abundantly clear that the security operations by the TNI are illegal and are in breach of the regulations. The government should have learnt from past experience in Aceh and Timor-Leste that the security approach never solves problems but only
intensifies the issues, making any solution even more difficult.

The illegal use of TNI forces also provides more evidence of the weak role of Polri in taking charge of security in Papua. Polri is increasingly showing that it lacks confidence in itself and its incapacity to take charge of security, in accordance with its mandate as stipulated in the Law on Polri. The government should be providing as much support as possible for the role of Polri in safeguarding security for the general pubic with the use of persuasive methods.

Aother problem that is no less important is the recent leak of Kopassus operational documents which drew attention to the huge role of intelligence and to the clarification of the TNI’s active role in pursuing the security approach in Papua.

The third problem relates to the attitude of the government, in particular the ambivalence of the President.  In a series of interviews, the President has spoken about achieving wellbeing for Papua.   But on the other hand, security continues to be the main approach and is not accompanied by any overall correction to security operations that do not promote the safety and sense of security of the people in general.

We therefore make the following demands:

1. The President of Indonesia should hold dialogue with the Papuan people representing all the interests of the Papuan people . This should be done in a dignified manner and should respect basic human rights.

2. The President of Indonesia should adopt a firm attitude to stop all the polemics going on among his ministers and pursue a single policy for Papua. The policy should be directed towards a model for solving the conflict and not just consist of speculations and stigmas.

3. The government should put an end to the continuing acts of violence and killings that have been occurring in Papua and make an evaluation of the presence and deployment of TNI forces, while maximising the role of Polri as the ones who are responsible for security.

4. All sides should play an active part in halting all forms of violence which can only have a negative impact on the peace process which is what the general public wants to happen.

Jakarta, 23 August 2011

Kontras: Commission for the Disappeared and the Victims of Violence

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