TPN/OPM warned of deadline for return of two weapons

Bintang Papua, 6 September 2011The executive committee of the Synod of the KINGMI Church in the Land of Papua has responded to the threat issued by the police force in Paniai that failure to hand back two firearms by the end of Wednesday, 7 September  would mean that the police will launch hunt and search operations against the TPN/OPM led by John Yogi.

According to the KINGMI Church, these search operations  against John Yogi who is alleged to have seized the weapons, could result in possibly hundreds or even thousands of casualties of innocent people among the civilian population, said Dr Benny Giay.

The deputy chairman of the Papuan branch of the National Human Rights Commission, Matius Murib, also had a meeting with Ruben Magai, the chairman of commission A of the DPRP about the issue.

Dr Benny Giay of the KINGMI Church called on Commission A of the DPRP to provide the opportunity for local leaders and churches to hold discussions with John Yogi and his comrades. The reason for doing so was that, according to reports from local communities in Paniai, everyday life in Paniai has been paralysed and many local inhabitants  have fled their villages in a state of trauma, havng heard about the forthcoming operations against the TPN/OPM. ‘We call upon Commission A and the chief of police to do everything possible to prevent casualties among the civilian population,’ he said.

Meanwhile, the Rev. Albert Kesya, said that plans to launch search operations against the TPN/OPM had been made public at a time when the congregation were involved in Spiritual Camping in Madi Kampung, Enaro,sub-district of Paniai. on 26 July. which is not far from the location where the headquarters of the TPN/OPM is believed to be based. Even so, Brimob forces in Panai had attacked and seized many things, including thousands of bullets (the figure given in the article is 40,000), Rp 50 million, twelve hand phones, ten bows and arrows, and a Yamaha motorbike.

Deputy chairman of the National Human Rights Commission in Papua, Matius Murib, said the government and the security forces need to pay attention to three things.  There can be no justification for anyone among the authorities or the population to use violence and cause  casualties among the population. ‘Such actions,’ he said, ‘were rejected by human rights organisations around the world, bearing in mind that  Indonesia has ratified  covenants against the use of violence. and the loss of lives. Secondly, the local population needs to hold negotiations with the TPN/OPM. Whatever the situation, people like John Yogi  and his group can be expected to listen and to understand.’

‘There is no need to set a deadline for the launching of operations. Weapons belonging to the state should be in the hands of the state. There can be no justification for launching search operations against the TNP/OPM. There are weapons in the hands of many groups. And there are many weapons in the hands of  people who are not authorised to hold weapons.’

‘People cannot be allowed to do things that will result in victims falling among the civilian population.’ He said that some people can be expected to use weapons as a bargaining point to achieve certain objectives, but trying to force people to return weapons  will never solve the problems.’

Ruben Magai, chairman of Commission A of the DPRP in Papua, called on the chief of police in Papua to use social means, not military means, because the latter will only traumatise the people and make them very afraid.

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