Jayapura: Following the deaths of eight members of the Indonesian army, it is reported that four civilians were also killed in the shooting by an armed group in the district of Tingginnambut, Puncak Jaya. The names of the four civilians are given as well as the names and ranks of the soldiers who lost their lives.
The chief of police in the area said that the bodies of the victims, the soldiers and the civilians, would be moved and a team will be set up, in co-ordination wih the army to investigate the killings. Furthermore, he said that security forces in the area will be strengthened.
[The above is s very much abridged translation of many lengthy reports which have appeared in the press about the fate of the eight soldiers.]
COMMENT: While huge attention is being given to the fate of eight members of the Indonesian army, we who have been closely following the situation in West Papua for years are struck by the fact that little, if anything, is ever reported by the media or the security forces about the scores of Papuans who have been killed or injured, their homes burnt down, villagers evicted from their land, their forests despoiled and trees cut down, with devastating consequences for the local villagers whose lives depend on the forest lands and rivers for hunting and fishing.. With journalists and human rights organisations strictly prohibited from visiting West Papua, the outside world is being kept ignorant of what has been happening to the indigenous population ever since West Papua was fraudulently incorporated into Indonesia in 1963. Carmel Budiardjo]
- Australia concerned by soldiers’ killings in Papua (abc.net.au)
- 8 Indonesian soldiers killed in Papua ambush, independence OPM blamed (pacific.scoop.co.nz)