Tag Archives: Indonesian military weapons smuggling

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.

SBS Radio – Torres Strait weapon smuggling claims

The police commander of Papua New Guinea’s Western Province says high-powered weapons are regularly being smuggled into the country from Australia’s Torres Strait in exchange for drugs.

Commander Peter Philip says he has raised the issue as a member of the bilateral council administering the Torres Strait Treaty between the two countries, but little has been done.

Last week a man was sentenced to 18 months prison in PNG for trying to bring three rifles and ammunition from Saibai Island to the Western Province capital of Daru.

Only a few kilometres of water separate some Torres Strait islands from PNG.

Police commander Peter Philip says the weapons are in big demand in PNG’s Highland provinces, where marijuana is grown in large quantities.

But he told Queensland correspondent, Stefan Armbruster, PNG police don’t have the resources control the trade.

CLICK ON THE LINK TO HEAR FULL INTERVIEW

http://www.sbs.com.au/podcasts/Podcasts/world-view/episode/146087/Torres-Strait-\weapon-smuggling-claims

Papua New Guinea Raises Concerns Over Arms Smuggling At Indonesian Border

Media Information:

(Note: West Papua Media and illegal arms smuggling investigators have long raised this issue with the PNG and Australian governments, however, evidence collected from the ground has implicated INdonesian military sources, not West Papuan opposition sources. The reporting in this piece is disingenuous and misleading by lumping this together with Operation Sunset Merona, implying that West Papuan refugees were involved in weapons smuggling. This has never been the case. Widespread research has documented a pathway of Indonesian military officers exchanging weapons for Marijuana with Raskol gangs from the PNG highlands, and with Indonesian officials in PNG openly flooding the country with small arms via illegal logging networks. Please contact West Papua Media for more background).

BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific
February 21, 2011

Papua New Guinea Raises Concerns Over Arms Smuggling At Indonesian Border

Text of report by Papua New Guinea newspaper The National website on 21
February

[Article by Isaac Nicholas: ‘Weapons smuggling a concern’]

Western law enforcement authorities have raised concerns about arms
smuggling into the province from Australia and Indonesia, saying it is
a threat to national security.

Provincial Police Commander Peter Philip said his men had confiscated
arms ranging from high-powered semi-automatic weapons to small arms
and shotguns.

He also raised concerns that Operation Sunset Merona refugees had been flown into East Arwin refugee camp without consultations with
provincial authorities, adding that the flight of more than 50 refugees by the PNGDF Casa aircraft into Kiunga was causing further strain on the limited resources in the province.

Philip said the frequency of illegal gun smuggling was higher than
what was happening up at the West Sepik border.

Ningerum Prison acting Commander Wini Nemo also raised similar
concerns that the extra people on the ground would also put pressure
on the jail holding capacity of 30 inmates, adding that the jail was
already over-crowded.

Similar sentiments were conveyed to Correctional Services Minister
Tony Aimo during a visit to the North Fly township of Kiunga last
week.

Provincial Magistrate Patrick Monouluk said arms smuggling was a
concern for authorities which lacked the capacity to police the vast
border province.

Last week, Monouluk sentenced a man to 18 months imprisonment for
smuggling arms and ammunition. Simon Somo Harquart from Mapos Village, Buang, in Morobe, was arrested by police when he attempted to move three firearms from Saibai Island in the Torres Strait into Daru.
Acting on a tip-off, police confiscated a .22 squibman rifle, 303
rifle, self-loading rifle and more than 150 rounds of ammunition.
Monouluk found him guilty and after sentencing, Harquart was
transferred to Bomana Jail outside Port Moresby.

Aimo admitted that arms smuggling and free movement of people across
the border of Indonesia and Australia was a major security concern and
he would raise the issue through reporting to the National Executive
Council to extend the operations from West Sepik to Western.

“We are sitting on a time bomb. There is exchange of guns and drugs
along this Western border which Waigani does not know about,” Aimo
said.

“It is very fragile and a threat to our national security.”

Source: The National website, Port Moresby, in English 21 Feb 11