Tag Archives: horizontal conflict

Ex Freeport worker murdered, mutilated in Timika OTK killing

by West Papua Media

January 23, 2013

The body of Henok Rumansara where found in Kwamki Narama (Photo: Kobawes Kores / Fb)

Papuan civilians around Timika have again been made wary of military provocations that may potentially revive a bloody horizontal conflict, after a former Freeport mine worker’s mutilated body was found in a roadside trench on January 19.

Villagers from Kwamki Narama, just outside Timika, found the badly mutilated body of Hanok Rumansara, 40, from Biak, in a roadside ditch in front of the village.  The autopsy on his body found Rumansara was riddled with over 23 stab wounds, plus a number of injuries cause by blunt objects, according to his human rights observers.

A human rights worker with Komnas Ham, going by the pseudonym Kobewas Kores, posted information on social media that Rumansara had been picked up by a motorcycle taxi (ojek) rider to take him to Kwamki Narama.  Whilst on the road, a group of unknown persons (orang tak kenal or OTK) set up a road block, and was not seen again until his body was found, according to witnesses interviewed by human rights workers.

Indonesian police have claimed that though there is little information to work on, they are pursuing the culprits, according to citizen media website malanesia.com.  Police have also claimed they have interviewed several witnesses and have secured arrows, bow, an axe and wood.  However, Indonesian police have rarely showed a willingness to properly investigate OTK cases, which most credible observers in Papua laying the blame squarely on Indonesian special forces from either Kopassus or Densus 88.

A former worker at the contentious Freeport-McMoRan run giant Grasberg gold and Copper mine, Rumansara had reportedly been active in the ongoing Freeport industrial dispute, according to initial information.  It is unclear why Rumansara had lost his job at the mine, but he was amongst hundreds of workers who failed to regain their jobs after the record-breaking seven month strike ended in December 2011.

Many Papuan ex-Freeport workers have been reportedly stranded from their home regions after not receiving any or enough severance pay from the management of the most lucrative gold mine on the planet.  West Papua Media has no information at this stage to indicate that he was targeted in relation to his involvement at Freeport, or in the strike.  If this were the case, it would represent a major escalation that would backfire significantly on the perpetrators, given the high political organisation of Freeport workers who are already tense given the recent gassing deaths of several workers.

However, Local human rights observers have questioned if the latest OTK killing – the first since community-led peace building put an end to a bloody military-fostered inter-tribal war from 20 May to 5 October 2012 – was a deliberate act of provocation to upset the current fragile peace.  The 2012 horizontal conflict claimed over 2o lives in numerous OTK killings, as well as direct tribal violence, while police and Indonesian military conducted operations deliberately designed to incite violence.

‘Kobewas Kores’ believes that indeed there was an OTK killing, but they got their targeting wrong and killed a man from another part of Papua.

“Is it possible that the killing was deliberately done to give birth to a conflict breaking out in Kwamki Narama village? I think the scenario actually missed the target of an indigenous person to Kwamki Narama.   In this case there are specially trained parties, the Indonesian military is trying to sow confusion in Timika and Papua in general,” Kobewas said.

West Papua Media

Related articles

Violence continues to intensify across Paniai, towns emptied as TNI/Polri conduct reprisals after TPN attacks.

October 21, 2012

By Nick Chesterfield at West Papua Media

Special Investigation

As a major crackdown by Indonesian security forces deepens against West Papuan civil resistance activists ahead of mass mobilisations across Papua, West Papua Media is examining Papuan nationalist motivations for resistance, revisiting a region that has been continuously wracked by security force violence connected to illegal gold mining and resource extraction.

The Paniai regency, which straddles the “neck” of the Papuan “bird of Paradise” landform, is the site of a new gold rush that has resulted in brutality against ordinary indigenous tribal and townspeople.

Intensifying acts of violence by Indonesian security forces has reportedly emptied towns in the Paniai district of West Papua, with civilians allegedly fleeing in their thousands to the jungle outside the Enarotoli region, according to human rights sources in Paniai.

Regular reports have been received over recent weeks from church human rights sources detailing a campaign of arbitrary brutality committed by soldiers from the notorious Nabire-based 753 Battalion of the Indonesian army (TNI) , together with Brimob paramilitary police, against indigenous people primarily from the Mee tribe.  Random attacks on ordinary villagers, drunken altercations at gambling venues, and sporadic attempts by indigenous Mee people to claim any share of the vast sums of wealth flowing out of their lands, have all contributed to a sense of brutalization endured by the Mee people in recent months.

Engagements between forces of the Paniai command of the West Papuan National Liberation Army (Tentara Pembebasan Nasional) and both Brimob and 753 Btn troops have been used as justification for violence against civilians, and several incidents connected to TNI business activities across the regency have increased tensions.

Daily confirmed reporting from church human rights sources in the Paniai have detailed a litany of abuses by security forces, including, torture, unprovoked killings, shootings, and beatings over economic turf wars.

Torture over taxi turf

On October 1, a misunderstanding quickly escalated to a torture incident in Waghete, in the Deiyei district of Paniai, illustrating perfectly the mundane economic triggers of abuse carried out by security force members.  A local district official Marion Dogopia, Head of Bouwobado District, Deiyai, was been driven in an official car (with yellow government plates) from Enarotoli to Waghete.  In the car were Dogopia’s driver, and his Papuan Police officer bodyguard, Ones Pigome.  The car turned into the Waghete bus terminal to pick up further family members, where a TNI Btn 753 soldier, moonlighting as a taxi driver, started an argument with the driver, according to a church human rights investigation seen by West Papua Media.

Across Indonesia, the TNI control the taxi and ojek (motorbike taxi) industry, which is used as both a good source of intelligence and a lucrative, effortless cash source for bored soldiers – who protect their turf ruthlessly.  According to witnesses quoted in the human rights investigation, the soldier taxi driver  – who was first in line at the taxi rank – angrily accused the official’s driver of being a taxi and picking up passengers  at the bus station, a place where taxis are not allowed to operate.  Despite the driver and Dogopia trying to calmly explain that the vehicle was a private vehicle and was not taking fares, the soldier refused to listen.

At this point, the municipal police officer Pigome, started to get angry at the soldier, and shouted and slapped the soldier, demanding he stand down.  The soldier resisted and called out his colleagues from Battalion 753, who were loitering at an army post 50 metres away.    According to witnesses, several dozen soldiers rushed over complete with their equipment and weapons, and pulled Ones Pigome out from his car. They severely beat the victim, kicked him, tore his clothes, and stomped him with their boots after he fell helplessly. As a result, Pigome sustained deep lacerations , contusions and swelling upon his head , face and body.

In a chilling reminder of the dangers faces to both journalists and witnesses to Indonesian state violence – and a sign of the fear that state abuse perpetrators in Papua have of being held to account by growing citizen media power – witnesses reported that several soldiers were standing guard while their colleagues were beating up Pigome, keeping watch after the voices of several 753 members could be heard saying “see who is taking photos or videos”.  Witnesses reported that soldiers took their rifles up to low ready positions and intimidated citizens, so that nobody was allowed to take photos.   The beating was reported to have lasted over an hour.

Despite the very public nature of the beating and ill-discipline in torturing another member of the security forces, no sanction against the offending 753 soldiers was reported.  This further example of impunity has contributed to the tension and feeling that the TNI is out to cause indiscriminate violence to Papuans, as collective punishment for the temerity of any challenge to Jakarta’s colonial plunder.

Military contacts increase

Indonesian army officers from 753 have also recently been implicated in several other incidents.

On Thursday October 11, a joint Indonesian army and Brimob patrol sent to secure logistics from the TPN for local elections, was moving in a speedboat up the Kebo River from Enarotoli.  According to reports, the army was using a civilian speedboat on Waneuwo Creek, Agadide District, and a TPN patrol saw this and opened fire on the boat, allegedly with a rocket propelled grenade according to MetroTV, though no evidence was provided for this claim.  In the firefight, the boat carrying food and logistical supplies for the TNI was sunk, and two TNI soldiers sustained gunshot wounds in their hands and feet.

The military conducted reprisals immediately by opening fire indiscriminately on civilian fishing boats tied up at the Aikai fishing hamlet in Enarotoli.  Civilians were then rounded up at gunpoint in the suburb of Bobaigo in Enarotoli, arrested without charge or justification – all are still being held at different police posts for interrogation.  West Papua Media has been unable to ascertain the identities of those arrested.

Prior to the latest wave of violence, throughout August a series on attacks on military posts, local officials, ordinary people and transmigrant workers were widely blamed on the ubiquitous “unknown persons” (OTK) killed 5 people, and critically injured another 6.  These OTK attacks, now wryly interpreted by Papuans to mean “Specially Trained Persons” (Orang Terlatih Khusus), were used as justification by security forces to conduct widespread reprisals against Papuan civilians.  As is the usual case, police have been in no hurry to identify the perpetrators with evidence, or do anything other than cooperate in extra-judicial operations, according to independent sources in Enarotoli.

In August, the reprisal by security forces forced a closure of the town of Enarotali, with schools, public transport and food supplies paralysed.  All health services in the District General Hospitals across Paniai were not running, as nurses, medical staff and patients were forcibly discharged by the security forces.  Civilians were unable to engage in farming, causing crops and food supplies to suffer, and were unable to gather firewood in the forest or fishing in the lake.  According to testimonies, the atmosphere was constantly coloured by the sounds of gunfire.  This situation was experienced by people in the city Enarotali, Madi (Paniai regency capital) and surrounding areas in Paniai.

After a period of relative calm in September, this situation is again being repeated through the behaviour of 753 Battalion and the members of Brimob, who are intricately entangled in the illegal gold mining trade.  West Papua Media reported in December 2011 on the ruthless Operation Matoa which was launched across the region to destroy the TPN forces of Jhon Yogi – resulting in the displacement of over 14,000 people, almost 150 villages burnt down and the failure of basic services for almost a year.

Violence over illegal gold control

Brimob paramilitary police, who were stationed in the Degeuwo and Derero River alluvial gold diggings, were providing a lucrative protection racket for the Australian-owned West Wits Mining and other foreign small scale mining companies, which was detailed in an original investigation by West Papua Media.  During Operation Matoa, helicopters leased by West Wits were allegedly provided to Indonesian security forces, who used them to strafe and napalm villages in the TPN stronghold of Eduda.  Then, as now, creating conflict to be suppressed is a powerful economic motivator for Brimob and 753 troops, who would otherwise be without “legitimate” reason to be around the gold diggings, and all the opportunities for profit that entails.  Brimob troops are contracted in lucrative business interests across the alluvial gold mining sector as they provide security for diggings, and also provide site security for several joint operations

The TPN forces of Jhon Yogi have long been suspected by observers as entangled in a mutually beneficial relationship of violence with both Brimob police and 753 Btn, as they both vie for control of artisanal alluvial gold mining operations across the rich rivers and streams that lead into Lake Paniai.

One observer of the Paniai struggle spoken to by West Papua Media today questioned if the perpetrators of ongoing repression were “simply bored 19 year olds with guns, Mafioso soldiers protecting their turf, or entangled business relationships between all actors in a classic horizontal resource based conflict.

On October 12, another armed contact occurred between Yogi’s TPN troops and another joint Brimob/753 patrol on a road near Tanjung Toyaimoti, Agadide District, according to TPN sources.   Citizen media sources reported that Jhon Yogi’s TPN unit was ambushed by the Brimob while Yogi’s men were on their way from Pasir Putih District to Komopa.  The sources claim that TPN were startled by gunshots near the village and returned fire in a shootout for several minutes.   Two TPN members were shot, one (Dabeebii Gobai, 26 years old) critically, and died the next day.

It is unclear how or why the vastly outgunned TPN unit was able, or allowed, to escape by Brimob officers, despite having several mobile units on call.  The failure to capture Yogi has raised significant questions as to desire of Brimob to capture him.

A senior church source in Paniai questioned the conditions behind the conflict and the commitment for actors in the conflict to actually seek peace.  According to the source, this situation has created a psychological trauma where “Paniai people are still living in the same uncertain circumstances (as when) the area was considered to be a ​​military operations area (DOM) until 2002. … We predict that such incidents are likely to continue to occur because both parties have still not demonstrated an attitude to restrict their areas of movement nor invite each other to prioritise persuasive (unarmed dialogue-based) approaches. It is often difficult to accept such offers.”

He continued, “All parties in Paniai remain indifferent to these problems occurring, even though the victims are often civilians. Maybe it’s because violence is considered normal in Paniai?”

Westpapuamedia

KNPB pleads for international security (force) to prevent ongoing conflict in Timika

October 8, 2012

Timika Conflict Report by Steven Itlay [Chair KNPB Mimika]

Analysis – edited by West Papua Media

Since the civil war broke out on June 2, 2012 in Timika,West Papua the number of victims among the indigenous people continues to grow. Freeport Indonesia Pty Ltd, the army, police and Government of Indonesia have not been able to resolve this insignificant dispute. They have allowed and indeed fostered this civil war.

As a result, at the time of this report (5/10), scores of lives have been lost and many (people) wounded. According to monitoring, the majority of the victims were hit by arrows; however a number were also shot dead by Indonesian Police. Yet others have disappeared as the result of “lightning” (speedy) killings by certain criminal elements. The Government of Indonesia and Freeport have not been able to resolve the conflict; therefore the (local) people are demanding an international security force to protect their lives.

The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) Mimika has been monitoring this situation, and has come to the conclusion that the civil war between clans has been allowed (to occur) by the Indonesian government and Freeport. The situation is trending towards genocide, and the Indonesian authorities – with the American corporation which is established on the Amungsa land – are deliberately permitting genocide in Timika, West Papua.

Chronology of the civil war

The civil war began from a misunderstanding which occurred since May 20, 2012 in Timika, Papua. In the beginning an incident occurred between Ronny Ongomang and Aroki Komangal. (Ronny Onggomang was the son of Hosea Onggomang and Aroki Komangal was the son of Atimus Komangal). At 4.00 p.m. Aroki called Ronny at his house and invited him to go for an evening ride, and .took the streets in the afternoon. The two went out, each using his own motorcycle heading along Old Freeport Street, next to Timika Airport. They sat down and began drinking (liquor).

Not long after that, a youth named Oni Kerembo who had just finished bathing at the side of Old Freeport Street was starting up his motor cycle, was suddenly hit by Ronny Ongomang who was crossing the road with his friend Mickieto while giving a ride on the back of his bike at high speed, despite being affected by alcohol.

After the collision with Oni, Ronny could still stand, and panicking, mounted his motorcycle and sped off about 1 kilometre, stopping at the side of a ditch by the road. According to police information, Ronny fell (from his bike) there and died suddenly (from his injuries). At the same time Oni Kerembo suffered broken bones and was rushed to Mitara Community Hospital RSMM Karitas for treatment.

The following day (21 May 2012), around 8.00 a.m, a citizen discovered the body of Ronny Onggomang in the ditch at the side of the road where he had fallen. The citizen immediately contacted the police, Polantas (traffic) section, and the body was removed to the District of Mimika General Hospital (RSUD Mimika). His parents were notified and identified Ronny Onggomang’s body at RSUD.

On 22 May 2012, his body was buried at the house of his father Hosea Ongomang at Kwamki Narama, Mimika.

On 24-26 May 2012 in Mimika, the victim’s family together with police from Polantas carried out an investigation into Ronny’s death. The police from Polantas said that it was clearly an accident, but the victim’s family did not accept this because there were no signs of scratches or lacerations on the body.

On 29 May 2012, the family of the victim (who) were making accusations everywhere, invited all the elders (including) the father of Aroki Komangal to go at once to the Police, Polantas Section and request clear information on the case. Polantas stated that from their viewpoint it was clearly an accident and there was no perpetrator. However the family of the victim were not satisfied with the police explanation. As a result of this dissatisfaction the family accused Aroki Komangal as the murderer without evidence.

Atimus Komangal and Benyamin Kiwak head of the large Damal clan apologised to the victim’s family but they rejected the apology from the side of the accused, and they wanted to “seek proof in the field” with a traditional physical confrontation or war between the clans, according to traditional custom.

In this small case the police let things be and did not complete the handling of the matter in order that a civil war did not occur. But (by failing to intervene with conflict resolution before violence broke out) it was as if the police provided an opportunity for this war to happen in Timika.

On 2 June 2012 in Mimika Papua, a civil war broke out, The clan of Hosea Ongomang fought against the clan of Atimus Komangal. Finally there was a victim on the Hosea Ongomang side, identified as Deminus Ongomang.

On 5 October 2012, around 8.24 a.m., community leaders, church leaders and womens’ leaders, forcibly chased away the Indonesian police because the police only watched and deliberately encouraged the conflict in Kwamki Narama, even though victims were dying. One Amungme community leader said, “The government of Indonesia, and TNI/POLRI only come to show off in the in an area of conflict like this, because of the political and economic interests of their office. They never truly resolve problems in Papua, especially in the gold mine region of Timika.”

At 09.00 a.m. local time, all the police who were serving in the war area left that war area in shame. All members of community organisations, church groups NGOs and elders regard the Indonesian government army and police (TNI/POLRI) as being incapable, and have failed totally to calm the civil war in Timika.

To the present moment the war is continuing. The Indonesian police have not yet succeeded in calming the civil war. In fact the police are just busy providing security for Freeport Indonesia. They carry out arrests of KNPB activists in the streets. This war which has been encouraged prevents the people from engaging in (peaceful and legitimate free expression) activism. The citizens are afraid to oppose the arbitrary activities of the police.

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Above: Images from the horizontal conflict of 2012 in Mimika (Courtesy KNPB Mimika)
List of names of the victims (of the war) from 20 May to 5 October 2012
A. From the side of Hosea Onggomang
1. Roni Onggomang (16), died in ditch at side of the road, after motorcycle collision with Oni Kerombo .
2. Deminus Onggomang (30). Killed by an arrow, fired mistakenly by one of his friends.
3. Dominus Ongomang (32) shot dead by police officer in Mimika. Perpetrator: Brimob AKBP Denny Siregar S.IK of Batak descent.
4. Doni Onggomang (28). Shot dead by police. Doni had just seen his older brother Dominus shot by Kapolres (Police). Doni was angry and wanted to attack the Kapolres but he was also shot, by Adjutant Kapolres Abram, native of Jayapura.
5. Antelius Ongomang (24), Killed by arrow.
6. Aroki Tabuni (29). Killed by an arrow.
7. Pak Enos Murib (35). Killed by an arrow
8. Ibu (Mrs) Medina Wenda (24). Killed by an arrow in a plantation outside the battlefield.
9. Seki Tabuni (36). Killed by an arrow.
10. Kamoro Tabuni (30). Killed by an arrow.
11. Herry Tabuni (25). Chased and killed in the street.

B. Victims from Atimus Komanggal’s side
1. Parael Alom
2. Yanuarius Misimbo, killed in a plantation.
3. Nike Misimbo (10). killed in a plantation.
4. Ince Komangal (15). killed in a car.
5. Eterikus Beanal. Killed in a car.
6. Jhon Beanal (29). Disappeared, abducted by person unknown
7. Frans Beanal, (30). Disappeared, abducted by person unknown.
8. Pdt. (Reverend) Barnabas Komangal (57). Killed in family fight.
9. People seriously wounded; 12 men and 2 women, names not yet known.
10. Filemon Hagabal, (35). seriously wounded by an arrow.
11. Head of the Dama clan, Victim of bashing carried out by member of the police force, is now left with paralysis in his left leg and has broken ribs. At present still in detention in Polres Mimika Mil 32.
12. Other victims outside the warring clans, Bapak Tom Yarangga (45 years), Yaranggawas burned in a car (fire) carried out by a specially trained group. (Kelompok yang di lati Khusus?), up to now the murderer has not been identified by the police.
Bapak Nasyum killed by a specially trained person. To date police have not identified the murderer.

(WPM Comment: The “Specially Trained Group” or Orang Terlatih Khusus is a euphemism for terror squads of the Indonesian special forces Kopassus, who are believed to responsible for a massive campaign of shootings, stabbings, muggings and bombings against a variety of targets, blamed on highland Papuans, and engineered by design to discredit the civil resistance movement in Papua. Indonesia, and Kopassus, have used proxy militia and jihadist groupsthis as their standard operating procedure since the bloodbaths of the 1965 Coup.)