President of Senegal – “West Papua is now an issue for all black Africans”

The President of Senegal, Abdoulaye Wade,  has become the first African leader to publicly back West Papua‘s bid for independence, stating that ‘West Papua is now an issue for all black Africans’.

His comments came last week during a conference in Senegal’s capital Dakar, attended by Benny Wenda, a West Papua independence leader who was granted political asylum by the British Government in 2003.

Benny Wenda addressed the audience, telling them about the situation in West Papua and his own struggle to bring independence to his homeland.
Following his address he presented the President with a Papuan headdress, and was warmly embraced by him. The President then addressed the audience, urging all African nations to take attention to the West Papua issue and do whatever they can to help.

Senegal is a country south of the Sénégal River in western Africa with a population of over 15 million. The current President was re-elected to power in 2007.

Leaked files show that Kopassus, Indonesia’s Special Forces, targets Papuan Church leaders and Civilians

Jakarta, November 9, 2010.
Secret documents have leaked from inside Kopassus, Indonesia’s red berets, which say that Indonesia’s US-backed security forces engage in “murder [and] abduction” and show that Kopassus targets churches in West Papua and defines civilian dissidents as the “enemy.”

The documents include a Kopassus enemies list headed by Papua’s top Baptist minister and describe a covert network of surveillance, infiltration and disruption of Papuan institutions.

Kopassus is the most notorious unit of  Indonesia’s armed forces, TNI,  which along with POLRI, the  national police, have killed civilians by the hundreds of thousands.

The leaked cache of secret Kopassus documents includes operational,  intelligence and field reports as well as personnel records which list the names and details of Kopassus “agents.”
The documents are classified “SECRET” (“RAHASIA”) and include extensive background reports on  Kopassus  civilian targets  — reports that are apparently of uneven accuracy.

The authenticity of the documents has been verified by Kopassus personnel who have seen them and by external evidence regarding the authors and the internal characteristics of the documents.

Click on the links below to download reports (these are in PDF format)
The Kopassus “enemies” list — the “leaders” of the “separatist political movement” includes fifteen civic leaders.  In the order listed by Kopassus they are:
— Reverend Socrates Sofyan Yoman, chair of the Papua Baptist Synod
— Markus Haluk head of the Association of Indonesian Middle Mountains Students (AMPTI) and an outspoken critic of the security forces and the US mining giant Freeport McMoRan
— Buchtar Tabuni, an activist who, after appearing on the Kopassus list, was sentenced to three years prison for speech and for waving Papuan flags and was beaten bloody by three soldiers, a guard, and a policeman because he had a cell phone
— Aloysius Renwarin, a lawyer who heads a local human rights foundation
— Dr. Willy Mandowen, Mediator of PDP, the Papua Presidium Council, a broad group including local business people, former politcal prisoners, women’s and youth organizations, and Papuan traditional leaders.   His most prominent predecessor, Theys Eluay, had his throat slit by Kopassus in 2001.
— Yance Kayame, a committee chair in the Papuan provincial legislature
— Lodewyk Betawi
— Drs. Don Agustinus Lamaech Flassy of the Papua Presidium Council staff
— Drs. Agustinus Alue Alua, head of the MRP, the Papuan People’s Council, which formally represents Papuan traditional leaders and was convened and recognized by the Jakarta government
— Thaha Al Hamid, Secretary General of the Papua Presidium Council
— Sayid Fadal Al Hamid, head of the Papua Muslim Youth
— Drs. Frans Kapisa, head of Papua National Student Solidarity
— Leonard Jery Imbiri, public secretary of DAP, the Papuan Customary Council, which organizes an annual plenary of indigenous groups, has staged Papua’s largest peaceful demonstrations, and has seen its offices targeted for clandestine arson attacks
— Reverend Dr. Beny Giay, minister of the Protestant evangelical KINGMI Tent of Scripture church of Papua
— Selfius Bobby, student at the Fajar Timur School of Philosophy and Theology (LAPORAN TRIWULAN p. 6)

KNPB to continue to press for a referendum – plus comment

KNPB will continue to press for Referendum

Bintang Papua, 30 September 2010

Jayapura: The spokesman  of the Komite Nasional Papua Barat – National Committee of West Papua, Mako Tabuni, speaking at a press conference, said that political dynamics were moving fast at present at a time when calls for a referendum are spreading throughout  Papua. In a democracy, this is an issue that must be accepted by the Indonesian state and the Indonesian people, together with the Papuan people.

The KNPB, as a national medium of the views of the Papuan people will continue to press for a referendum as the final solution to resolve the political status of West Papua, because this can resolve all the problems in Papua and it represents the best possible solution for the Papuan people. Without a referendum, the Papuan people’s problems will never be resolved.

He said that since Indonesia calls itself a democratic state based on the Pancasila, it can surely understand why the Papuan people are calling for a referendum. Many human rights abuses have been committed in the past and have persisted for 48 years, during which time the military forces have directly or indirectly caused great suffering for the Papuan people.

With the issue of a referendum having become so heated, the KNPB will continue to struggle for this demand.

With regard to the hearing held recently (in Washington)  which was attended by a number of Papuan leaders, including the chairman of DAP, Forkorus Yoboisembu, Herman Awom and others,  nothing has been forthcoming from the US suggesting that it does not support a referendum.

Mako Tabuni said that he is still awaiting reports about the activities of Papuans such as Nicolas Messet and Albert Yoku who were also present at the congressional hearing, nor has there been any official report regarding the results of the hearings. [Note: Verbatim reports of all the discussion have been widely circulated.]

Regarding telephone communications that have been reported by irresponsible elements that have been reported by the media in Jayapura to the effect that the issue of referendum has been rejected, these are quite untrue and provocative, because there has been no official announcement from the US Congress to the effect that a referendum is unacceptable.

Even if that were the case, the KNPB and the  Papuan people will continue to struggle for their political demand because this is their right, and it is a matter that cannot be determined by the Indonesian elite.

[Comment:  If the KNBP says that it is waiting for the decision of the US Congress in response to the call for a referendum, this reflects a misunderstanding of how the US congressional hearing mechanism works. The hearing was itself an unprecedented event, the first time that a US congressional body held a public discussion on the question of West Papua. The verbatim reports of the hearing, including all the testimonies and the discussions between the chairman of the Asia-Pacific sub-committee and members of the audience have been widely circulated, as well as the views of the US government. Everything is in the public domain. The US Congress itself cannot be expected to make a statement on an issue that was discussed by one of its sub-committees.

It now depends on organisations like the KNPB which support the call for a referendum in West Papua to translate these documents into Indonesian so that they become widely known in West Papua and Indonesia. By doing this, they can strengthen support for a referendum in Indonesia and internationally while at the same time revealing the strength of feeling about the issue to the Indonesian government. Arguably, the sudden decision of the SBY government to dispatch a large team of ministers to West Papua for the purposes of making an  ‘evaluation’ is a sign that the government is beginning to understand the strength of feeling and support for the West Papuan people’s demand.  TAPOL]




Today there are rallies at US Embassies in West Papua, Jakarta, Melbourne and Perth, reminding US Senators in a Congressional Hearing in Washington of Indonesia’s atrocious human rights record in West Papua and the republic’s dismal effort to decentralize, demilitarize or democratize.

West Papuan lawyer, Edison Waromi, who is President of the West Papua National Authority, arrived in Washington this morning to attend the Congressional hearing.

“We West Papuans have a lot of history with the United States” he said. “General MacArthur’s children might not know their father dropped us two thousand guns to fight the Japanese during World War 2. John Kennedy’s children probably don’t want to know their father called us ‘just 700,000 cannibals’ as he artfully bullied the Dutch into relinquishing its colony to the Indonesians. I would of course remind Ellsworth Bunker’s children that their father was the architect of the New York Agreement that enslaved us to the Indonesians. And then there’s Mr Kissinger and the whole Freeport mine business”.

The West Papua National Authority/West Papua National Consensus is in Washington to advise American politicians to support

(1)     The re-insertion of West Papua on the UN Decolonization List

(2)    West Papuans’ inalienable right to self-determination in terms of the recent ICJ ruling on Kosovo

(3)    An international fact-finding and peace-keeping mission to West Papua immediately.

“Ultimately someone has to take responsibility for the 546,000 ‘missing’ Papuans since the beginning of the Indonesian occupation in 1962” said Mr Waromi.

SMH: Counter-terrorism squad to stay in Papua

Tom Allard

Media Information – FYI
September 14, 2010

JAKARTA: Detachment 88 has a legitimate role in countering separatism and will remain in Papua, where a long-simmering independence campaign has been running, the unit’s commander, Tito Karnavian, has confirmed.

In an interview with the Herald, Brigadier General Karnavian said Papua was different to Maluku, another Indonesian province where members of the counter-terrorism unit have been accused of abuses and from where they will soon leave.

General Karnavian pointed to shootings last year near the US-owned Freeport mine, in which an Australian worker, Drew Grant, and others died, as evidence that separatists in Papua were using ”tactics of terror”.

”Any group using violence against civilians must be seen as a terrorist group. It’s not just Islamic groups,” he said.

”You can’t confine Detachment 88 only for Islamic groups. That would be used by Islamic groups to say that we are just an extension of the Western powers against Islam.”

Independence supporters dispute that their armed wing, Organisasi Papua Merdeka, was involved in the Freeport shootings, blaming Indonesian military and police who lost the lucrative job of guarding the gargantuan gold and copper mine.

One analyst, who asked not to be named, doubted whether Detachment 88 should play a significant role in suppressing separatism and said it could prove counter-productive.

”It’s a huge mistake to brand separatist activity as terrorism – activities designed to create fear – when you are trying to find a political solution in places like Papua,” the analyst said.

Australia and the US fund and train Detachment 88, Indonesia’s elite counter-terrorism unit, and value its skill in preventing terrorist attacks, uncovering networks and arresting offenders.

But the nations have been concerned by repeated allegations of abuses in Maluku and are wary of being linked to its counter-separatist activities.

In response to the Herald’s revelations yesterday about abuses in Maluku, l an Australian Foreign Affairs spokesman said: ”Det-88 has not sought assistance from Australia in any investigations or operations to counter internal separatist movements.”

Brigadier General Karnavian said an imminent restructuring of Detachment 88 would see its forces outside Jakarta, including those in Papua, focus on ”intelligence gathering rather than investigations”.

Under the new arrangements, forces would report directly to Jakarta. At present, General Karnavian said he had no control over Detachment 88 police outside the capital, including those in Maluku. ”They were instructed directly by the head of police or head of detectives in the province,” he said.

An Indonesia analyst from the Australian National University, Greg Fealy, welcomed the restructure. ”There are some well trained, highly professional Densus [Detachment 88] officers at the national level, but regional units often reflect local police culture and preoccupations, including a greater tendency to use violence.”

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