Tag Archives: military operations

PRESS CONFERENCE: MORAL CALL FOR JUSTICE AND TRUTH BY CATHOLIC PRIESTS FROM ALL OVER PAPUA

on International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2020

VIOLENCE BREEDS NEW PROBLEMS;
DIALOGUE AND RECONCILIATION IN A DIGNIFIED WAY WIll RESOLVE CONFLICTS IN THE LAND OF PAPUA


1. INTRODUCTION
Papuans, Blessed Lands and Peoples. On February 5, 1855, Missionaries Carl Willem Ottow and Johan Gottlob Geissler set foot on the island of Mansinam – Manokwari. The sprinkling of New Change and Civilization resonated on the coast, on the slopes of mountains, in valleys, and in the jungles of all corners of the land Papua “Tanah Papua”.

In the next period of time, Protestant and Catholic Missionaries were present to greet Papuans. They preached the gospel of the kingdom of God. Papuans RECEIVE THE GOSPEL AND ARE BAPTIZED INTO CHILDREN OF GOD AS WELL AS CITIZENS OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST, both Catholic and Protestant.

Jesus, the gospel, and the Church. The three are integrated into Papuan life. The habit of war among the tribes in Papua gradually changed into brotherhood closely. Similarly, the tradition of enrichment stopped. Papuans live peacefully as brothers.

The Missionaries brought Papuans to the Culture of Life. The Culture of Living Peacefully and Brothers in unity as children of God. That in the name of the Lord Jesus, the Son of God, there is eternal life. A life of peace, prosperity, happiness and longevity. BUT, WHAT ABOUT NOW? PAPUA’S SITUATION HAS CHANGED GREATLY AND IS DIFFERENT.

We certainly remember there is a wise sentence from Prof. JE Sahetapy in the ILC (Indonesia Lawyer Club, National TV Program) on April 22, 2012. Based on the Dutch proverb: “Al is de leugen nog zo snel, de waarheid achterhaalt haar wel”, he said: “EVEN IF THE LIE RUNS LIGHTNING FAST, ONE TIME THE TRUTH WILL DEFEAT IT”.


2. BACKGROUND OF THE APPEAL:

SEVERAL INDONESIAN BISHOPS MET THE COORDINATING MINISTER FOR POLHUKAM (POLITICS, LAW AND SECURITY), MAHFUD M.D., TO DISCUSS VIOLENCE IN PAPUA, ON 03 NOVEMBER 2020

Following the assassination of Journalist Rufinus Tigau, a Catholic Catechist in Intan Jaya-Papua Regency, the Leaders of the Catholic Church met with Indonesia’s top security official to urge the Government to ease the situation through dialogue.

The meeting took place at the residence of Mahfud MD, with the aim of discussing various problems that hit Indonesia’s easternmost province which continues to be turbulent. Attending the meeting were Bishop Agats, Mgr. Aloysius Murwito, OFM and Bishop of Amboina, Mgr. Petrus Canisius Mandagi MSC (who at that time was the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Merauke), together with Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo, Chairman of the Conference of Trustees of the Church of Indonesia (KWI). Bishop Mandagi told UCA News at the time that the hour-long meeting was intended to discuss “VARIOUS ISSUES IN THE LAND OF PAPUA, ESPECIALLY THE PROBLEM OF VIOLENCE”

The Bishop of Indonesia IS CONCERNED ABOUT THE SITUATION. He said no specific cases were discussed in the meeting. Instead, the talks focused on the suffering inflicted by the violence, both on local civilians and on security forces.

It further says that “Papuans are good people. No one, including the Military, Police and Church Officers, should look down on them. MILITARY INTERVENTION only exacerbates tensions. Finally, OUR HOPE IS TO IMMEDIATELY STOP THE VIOLENCE IN THE LAND OF PAPUA” (lih. Jubi.co.id, 03 November 2020, Editor Dewi Wulandari).


• WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THAT MEETING?
ON FRIDAY 06 NOVEMBER 2020, TNI/POLRI CONTINUED THEIR OPERATIONS IN SUGAPA-INTAN JAYA- WEST PAPUA

The Ranks of Defense Command (Kogabwilhan) III ensured that TNI and POLRI forces CONTINUED LAW ENFORCEMENT OPERATIONS AGAINST ARMED CRIMINAL GROUPS (TPNPB-OPM) IN SUGAPA – INTAN JAYA – PAPUA. They said: We will not be stopped after the death of one TNI soldier on behalf of Pratu Firdaus Kurniawan who was shot by KKSB on Friday 6 November 2020 (Source Newspaper : Papua.com).

3. WE TRY TO RECORD A NUMBER OF HUMANITARIAN EVENTS THAT OCCURRED AGAINST CIVILIANS (INDIGENOUS PAPUANS AND NON-PAPUANS) IN THE LAND OF PAPUA FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS (2018-2020):

• SHOOTING OF PT. ISTAKA WORKERS ON DECEMBER 2, 2018. THERE WAS ALSO A MILITARY OPERATION IN NDUGA THAT RESULTED IN A MASSIVE COMMUNITY EVACUATION (Source: Voice of Papua Com. Voicing the voiceless, July 23, 2020)

• RACISM SPEECH: CALLING PAPUAN STUDENTS “MONKEYS”. On August 15, 2019 – two days before Indonesia’s independence day – students held a demonstration commemorating the New York Agreement (August 15, 1962) between the Netherlands and Indonesia. The demo action was initiated by AMP and FRI-WP in several cities. However, the cities of Surabaya and Malang in East Java Province were in the spotlight, because there has been racism-tinged hate speech against Papuan students. The incident has sparked a wave of protests and rallies everywhere that have caused little casualties and material losses (Source: Memoria Passions no. 33 Demands for Dignity, Papuans Punished, Theo van den Broek)

• SHOOTING OF RELIGIOUS LEADERS BY SECURITY OFFICERS FROM THE JOINT TNI-POLRI TEAM:

• Victim of Pastor JEREMIAH ZANAMBANI. The most tragic story happened on Saturday 19 September 2020. Evening, at 5:40 p.m. Pastor Jeremiah Zanambani was shot by Indonesian Military personnel in Hitadipa village, Intan Jaya (Source Jubi.co id. CNN Indonesia. Editor Edi Faisaol).
• Victim of young Catholic Church preacher, AGUSTINUS DUWITAU (23 years old). He was shot on October 7, 2020 by non-Organic TNI Member of YONIF RAIDER 400/BRAWIJAYA unit (source SUARA PAPUA, com. 8 October 2020, Author Arnold Belau)

• Victims of young Preachers of the Catholic Church, RUFINUS TIGAU In Jalai Village Sugapa-Intan Jaya District. He was shot by a joint TNI-POLRI force on Monday, October 26, 2020, at exactly 05:00 WIT. The Joint Team entered Jalai village and began conducting sweeps and shootings.

• Victims of State High School Students in Ilaga, Puncak Regency: ATANIUS MURIB (17 years old) and MALUK MURIB (17 years old). They were shot on November 21, 2020. After hearing the holiday announcement, the two of them were going on a vacation to their hometown in Agandugume District, but in the middle of the road, they were confronted and shot (Source: detik news, Saturday, Nov 21, 2020, by rfs).

• DISCLOSURE AND ARREST

• THE DISCLOSURE OF STUDENT/COMMUNITY DEMOCRATIC SPACE BY THE COMBINED TNI/POLRI TEAM. On Tuesday, October 27, 2020 in Jayapura city, there was an arrest until the shooting by the joint TNI/POLRI officers against students who participated in the Peaceful Demo of Otsus rejection Volume II. (Source: Jubi.co.id. Tanah Papua news portal No. 1. Editor, Sham Terrajana).

• THE ARREST OF MEMBERS OF THE PAPUAN PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY (MRP) AS A MIRROR AGAINST INDIGENOUS PAPUANS. Whereas the MRP is an official State Institution as stated in Article 5 of Law No. 21/2001 on Special Autonomy for Papua Province and then further regulated through Government Regulation No. 54/2004 on MRP (Source: Law Jutice, News and Investigation Portal, Friday 20 11 2020. Editor, Ade Irmansyah).




4. WE ALSO NOTE SOME OF THE VERY TROUBLING STATEMENT OF OUR HEARTS, WHO ALWAYS LIVE PEACEFULLY WITH GOD’S PEOPLE IN THE LAND OF PAPUA:

• On Wednesday 21 October 2020 at 18.40, Pantau.com media reported that Coordinating Minister for Legal Politics and Security Mahfud DM recommended that the defense and security forces FILL EMPTY AREAS FOR SECURITY. It was revealed after receiving the results of the report of the Joint Fact Finding Team (TGPF) Intan Jaya Regency, at the Office of the Ministry of Police in Jakarta.

• On October 21, 2020 (which was updated on October 22, 2020), BBC News/Indonesia news stated that the Minister of Police also recommended the addition of troops in Papua after stating that the TGFT report showed that there was “suspected involvement of officers” in the murder of Pastor Jeremiah Zanambani in Hitadipa-Intan Jaya.


• On Thursday 29 October 2020 at 14.24 WIB, Bayu Adi Wicaksono in Viva Co.id media, reported that the TNI had prepared a Battalion of 122 Infantry Combat Troops Tombak Sakti to send to Papua. The preparation battalion came from the Military Regional Command (Kodam) I Bukit Barisan. Based on the information gathered, as many as 450 troops were prepared to carry out the operation of the RI-PNG Border security task force.


5. THE BASIS OF OUR CALL (PASTORS FROM ALL OVER PAPUA) TO SPEAK OUT TODAY, WORLD HUMAN RIGHTS DAY, DECEMBER 10th, FOR THE SAFETY OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD WE SERVE IN THE LAND OF PAPUA

• We the Priests, served in cities and in villages throughout the Land of Papua, from Sorong to Samarai. We are very close and always with God’s People, so their SORROWS are also LIKE our GRIEF. Their HOPE & ANXIETY at the same time also become our HOPE & ANXIETY (bdk. GS no. 1).
• That proximity factor, makes us always look at the facts and hear for ourselves what happened to God’s People in the field. We heard what they were talking about honestly, and all this time we recorded all the real conditions well.
• After conferring together, we, the Pastors agreed to make a joint appeal today, December 10, 2020 to coincide with World Human Rights Day. We feel called to BE A MOUTHPIECE TO VOICE THE CONSCIENCE OF THE PEOPLE ENTRUSTED BY GOD IN OUR GRAZING MISSIONS THROUGHOUT THE LAND OF PAPUA.

6. WE VOICE THE MOANS OF CONSCIENCE OF PREGNANT AND NURSING MOTHERS, SMALL CHILDREN, THE ELDERLY AND YOUNG, THE SICK, THE BLIND, THE DEAF AND THE PARALYZED, ALL THE HELPLESS. ALL OF THEM NOW LIVE IN ANXIETY AND FEAR THROUGHOUT PAPUA, ESPECIALLY IN RURAL VILLAGES

• Our first appeal is directed at the two warring sides, namely the TNI/POLRI stronghold and the TPN OPM stronghold. We ask that both parties, who are dignified Human Beings, immediately cease armed violence and open the door to dialogue in dignified dialogue that can be mediated by the State or Neutral and independent Groups. Because violence is never going to solve problems in the Land of Papua; it will instead add a million new misery and problems. Violence will give birth to new grudges and violence that kills lives. Be aware that “the salvation of human life is not at the end of the barrel of a weapon” brothers and sisters.

• Our second appeal, addressed to MR. PRESIDENT REBUBLIK INDONESIA as Commander-in-Chief, to immediately hold a meeting with the CHIEF OF POLICE & COMMANDER OF THE TNI to evaluate the impact of the addition of troops to the Land of Papua. And immediately withdraw all non-organic forces combined TNI / POLRI from all land of Papua.

• Our third appeal is directed at the MRP and DPR PAPUA – WEST PAPUA to immediately establish regulations that are more favorable to Indigenous Papuans (OAP). In our view, the formulation of contextual regulations and the value of impartiality, is a very dignified step in respecting and saving the OAP (Papuan Indigenous) that is heading towards the brink of extinction.

• Our FOURTH appeal, addressed to the FATHER OF PAPUA GOVERNOR, Lukas Enembe. We support the statement of the Administrator of the Diocese of Timika, Pastor Marthen E. Kuayo Pr, dated October 11, 2020 requesting that the Governor revoke the Recommendation of WIUPK Blok Wabu in Intan Jaya, if it is true that the Governor of Papua recommended it. Because Blok Wabu is the cause of conflict, evacuation of local communities and fatalities.

• Our FIFTH appeal, addressed to the CHAIRMAN OF THE CONFERENCE OF TRUSTEES OF THE CHURCH OF INDONESIA (KWI), Mr. Ignatius Cardinal Suharyo and all KWI members. We, pastors of Papua would like to ask: Why do the Leaders of the Indonesian Catholic Church not discuss holistically, seriously and thoroughly about the longest conflict in the Land of Papua in the annual meeting of KWI? What’s wrong with this Land of Papua? Once again we hope, long, and ask, that Mr. Cardinal and Bishops throughout Indonesia do not stay silent or seem unwilling to know the condition of the wounded humanity of God’s people in the Land of Papua, especially the Melanesian Race that is heading towards the brink of extinction. We were astonished and at the same time excluded, because we heard that KWI was so quick to express its attitude and expression of sorrow to the violent events that occurred in Lewonu – Lembantongoa – Palolo – Sigi Regency – Central Sulawesi, while the grief and anxiety and death of Papuans felt out of the attention, protection, and defense of KWI.

• Our SIXTH appeal, addressed to the EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE OF PAPUA (consisting of four Bishops and one Administrator Diocesan) also to the LEADERS OF THE ORDER / TARIKAT who work throughout the Land of Papua. We Papuan Priest long for a firm and impartial attitude towards Papuans and all others in this land who have been killed and who are being hurt. We yearn for a shepherd who is at the forefront of acting to save God’s People, as Archbishop Herman M. Munninghoff, OFM and the late Bishop John Philip Saklil, Pr. They have raised the reality of the suffering of God’s people in this Land of Papua. But now, it feels as if their spirit of struggle is lost buried with their rigid bodies in a burrow. Where are the voices of our current Leaders to address this humanitarian tragedy on Cenderawasih Earth?

• Our SEVENTH appeal, addressed to the GOVERNMENT OF INDONESIA and INVESTORS. Be aware that the land of Papua is not a vacant and no man’s land. The landowner of Papua is a Papuan who is also his heir. This land, has been clearly divided into its owners, namely the Seven Indigenous Territories, respectively Lapago, Meepago, Ha Anim, Bomberay, Domberay, Sairery and Mamta.

• Our EIGHTH appeal, addressed to THE GROUP PRONE TO TRIGGER HORIZONTAL CONFLICT: Nusantara, KNPB, Barisan Merah Putih, Bintang Kejora, Pro NKRI and Pro Papua Merdeka throughout Papua. We are all human beings who believe in God almighty and just and civilized people. Let us solve all problems in the land of Papua in dignified ways. Remind that there are differences of ideology and opinion, but let us sit together in an atmosphere of mutual respect and respect to find the right solution for peace and tranquility in this land of Papua.

• Our NINTH appeal, addressed to LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEADERS THROUGHOUT PAPUA: GOVERNORS, MAYORS, AND REGENTS. We strongly support and pray for you in leading the government in this land of Papua. You are God’s deposition to lead all human beings, people in the land of Papua to coexist peacefully, fairly, and prosperously. Look with the eyes of faith all the realities on this land! Lead this country independently and independently based on a sincere conscience without flawed intervention and intimidation from anyone, which will only undermine stability, tranquility, peace, and justice over the territory of the government you lead. We also ask for special attention to coaching for local government officials and field officers so that there is dedication of leadership and dedication so that there is a spirit of service that is responsible, sincere, and sincere for the community for the safety and welfare of many people.

• Our TENTH call, addressed to MIGRATION POLICY MAKERS. To the Central and Local Governments, we hope while reminding what we have said above, that the land of Papua is not a vacant and no man’s land. Therefore, there must be a clear policy on migration. Whether there are restrictions or even stopped the flow of migration that has occurred in a structured or unstructured to the land of Papua. These efforts should be made in anticipation of an increasingly strained and strained relationship between migrants and the OAP. At the same time minimize social frictions that resulted in the depressing and removal of OAP on its own ancestral land.




7. FINALLY

We, pastors from Papua agree and firmly offer a DIALOGUE APPROACH. This approach is a new and dignified policy to build a stable, just and peaceful and prosperous Land of Papua. At THE SAME TIME FIRMLY REJECT AND CONDEMN ACTS OF VIOLENCE ON THIS LAND.

The dialogue we offer is a COMPREHENSIVE DIALOGUE that can resolve the longest conflict in the land of Papua. This dialogue is not intended to seek out who is wrong and who is right, but rather to find the real truths that lead all parties to justice and peace in life.

In Faith and Hope, we are very confident, that Dialogue will never kill, Dialogue will never hurt, and Dialogue will never make us stupid. It is precisely when we use the wrong ways such as acts of violence that do not have humanity, then we will leave the rotten wounds of the birth and the inner. For whatever reason, every violence in the form of murder and slaughter, as well as the dispersion of man created by God, is wrong and a very violent and cruel sin.

We Are Catholic Priests from Papua:

1. P. Alberto John Bunai, Pr
2. P. Paul T. Tangdilintin, OFM
3. P. Nico Syukur Dister, OFM
4. P. Alfonsius Biru Kira, Pr
5. P. Yohanes E.G. Kayame, Pr
6. P. Bernardus Bofitwos Baru, OSA
7. P. Paul Tan, Pr
8. P. Maryanus Koba Toyo, SVD
9. P. Yanuarius M. You, Pr
10. P. Adrianus Tuturop, Pr
11. P. Vicky Bauntal, Pr
12. P. Benyamin S. Magay, Pr
13. P. YosiasiWakris, Pr
14. P. John Kandam, Pr
15. P. Izaak Bame, Pr
16. P. Yulianus Korain, Pr
17. P. Martin Homba-Homba, Pr
18. P. Daniel Gobai, Pr
19. P. Lukas Sasior, OSA
20. P. Athanasius Bame, OSA
21. P. Imanuel Air, OSA
22. P. Imanuel Tenau, Pr
23. P. Jan Pieter Fatem, OSA
24. P. Lewi Ibori, OSA
25. P. Edy Doga, OFM
26. P. Honoratus Pigai, Pr
27. P. Aloysius Daby, Pr
28. P. Yohanes B. Uttun, Pr
29. P. Philipus Sedik, OSA
30. P. Yohanes S. Sedik, OSA
31. P. AloTeniwut Sedik, OSA
32. P. Maksimilianus Dora, OFM
33. P. Petrus Fenyapwain, OFM
34. P. Alexius Ate, Pr
35. P. Floribertus Yoseph S, Pr
36. P. Agustinus Yerwuan, OFM
37. P. Cayetanus Tarong, MSC
38. P. Hilarius Salmon, Pr
39. P. Markus Malar, OSA
40. P. Medardus Puji Harsono, Pr
41. P. Mecky Mulait, Pr
42. P. Fransiskus B.V.L. Maing, Pr
43. P. Herry Lobya, OSA
44. P. Yanuarius Yelipele, Pr
45. P. Fransiskus Hilapok, Pr
46. P. H. Ngalumtila Pekey, Pr
47. P. Moses Amiset, Pr
48. P. Rudolf Renyaan, Pr
49. P. Abel Yamdua Sanam, Pr
50. P. Remigius Seran, OFM
51. P. Hubertus Aweekohabi Magay, Pr
52. P. Theo Kosi, OFM
53. P. Selpius Goo, Pr
54. P. Yohanes Klau, Pr
55. P. Stefanus Yogi, Pr
56. P. Benyamin Keiya, Pr
57. P. Felix Janggur ,OSA
58. P. Fransiskus Utii, Pr
59. P. Nikolaus Wakei, Pr
60. P. Aloysius Susilo, Pr
61. P. Petrus Lekat Plue, Pr
62. P. Alexius Fabianus, Pr
63. P. Emanuel Bili, Pr
64. P. Adi Bon, Pr
65. P. Fredy Sabu, Pr
66. P. Matius Syukur, Pr
67. P. Jermias Rumlus, Pr
68. P. Paulus Trorba, OSA
69. P. Ibrani Gwijangge, Pr
70. P. Didimus Kosy. OFM
71. P. Floridus Nadja, OSA
72. P. Adri V. Durenge, OSA
73. P. Antonius Tromp, OSA
74. P. Benediktus Jehamin, OSA
75. P. Hilarius Soro, OSA
76. P. Konradus Ngandur, OSA
77. P. Yohanes Kota, OSA
78. P. Damasus Pantur, OSA
79. P. Liborius Nong, OSA
80. P. Agustinus S. Elmas, Pr
81. P. Rufinus EPW Madai, Pr
82. P. Jems Kosay, Pr
83. P. Yohanes Sudrijanta, SJ
84. P. Krispinus Bidi, SVD
85. P. Hendrikus Hada, Pr
86. P. Paulus Wolor, Pr
87. P. Amandus Rahadat, Pr
88. P. Damianus Adii, Pr
89. P. Yan P. A. Dou, Pr
90. P. Agustinus Alua , Pr
91. P. Agustinus Tebay, Pr
92. P. Lambertus Pati, OSA
93. P. Yohanes Batlayeri, Pr
94. P. Martinus Mada Werang, OSA
95. P. Dominikus Dulione Hodo, Pr
96. P. Alexandro Rangga, OFM
97. P. Goklian P.H, OFM
98. P. Kornelis Basa Kopon, Pr
99. P. Barnabas Daryana, Pr
100. P. Bartholomeus D. Oyan, Pr
101. P. Petrus Hamsi, Pr
102. P. Karolus Kune Boruk, Pr
103. P. Yermias Lado, OFM
104. P. Modestus Teniwut, OFM
105. P. Gokmento Sitinjak OFM Cap
106. P. Juperdinan Manik, OFM Cap
107. P. Yohanes Mangguwop, Pr
108. P. Ag. EkoWidiatmono, Pr
109. P. Heronimus Lebi, OFM
110. P. Ambrosius Sala, OFM
111. P. Philipus Elosak, OFM
112. P. Bartolomeus Urobmabin, OFM
113. P. Lorens Purek, OFM
114. P. Yohanes Purnama, OFM
115. P. Fransiskus Katino, Pr
116. P. Wilibaldus Jampa, OSA
117. P. Paulus Jab Ulipi, OSA
118. P. Roni Guntur, SVD
119. P. Yohanes R. Jempormase, OSA
120. P. Ronald Sitanggan, Pr
121. P. YuvenTekege, Pr
122. P. Theo Makai, Pr.
123. P. OktovianusTaena, Pr
124. P. Yance Yogi, Pr
125. P. Sebast Maipaiwiyai, Pr
126. P. Rinto Dumatubun, Pr
127. P. Yohanes Djawa, SVD
128. P. Hubertus Henslok, SCJ
129. P. Paulus Kusworo, SCJ
130. P. Ari Wuardana, SCJ
131. P. Jhon Kore, OFM
132. P. Damianus Uropmabin, Pr
133. P. Yulius D, Pr
134. P. Kleopas S. Sondegau, Pr
135. P. Agustinus Rumsorin, Pr
136. P. Yoseph Ikikitaro, Pr
137. P. Herman Yosep Betu, Pr
138. P. Yustinus Rahangiar, Pr
139. P. Samuel O, Pr
140. P. Agustinus Yohanes Setiyono, SJ
141. P. Robertus L. Tangdilintin, Pr.
142. P. Linus Dumatubun, Pr.
143. P. Hendrikus Nahak, OFM
144. P. Norbertus B. Renyaan, OFM.
145. P. John Djonga, Pr.
146. P. Santon Tekege, Pr.
147. P. Marten Kuayo, Pr.

West Papua Report January 2012


This is the 91st in a series of monthly reports that focus on developments affecting Papuans. This series is produced by the non-profit West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) drawing on media accounts, other NGO assessments, and analysis and reporting from sources within West Papua. This report is co-published with the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN). Back issues are posted online at http://etan.org/issues/wpapua/default.htm Questions regarding this report can be addressed to Edmund McWilliams at edmcw@msn.com. If you wish to receive the report via e-mail, send a note to etan@etan.org.

 

West Papua Report
January 2012

This is the 93rd in a series of monthly reports that focus on developments affecting Papuans. This series is produced by the non-profit West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) drawing on media accounts, other NGO assessments, and analysis and reporting from sources within West Papua. This report is co-published with the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN). Back issues are posted online at http://www.etan.org/issues/wpapua/default.htm Questions regarding this report can be addressed to Edmund McWilliams at edmcw@msn.com. If you wish to receive the report via e-mail, send a note to etan@etan.org.

Summary: Indonesian security forces, including the U.S. and Australian supported Detachment 88, conducted “sweeping operations” in the Paniai area of West Papua that destroyed churches, homes and public buildings, and forced hundreds of civilians from their homes. The Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) urged the Police Commander to remove forces from the region, echoing civil society leaders in Paniai. Jakarta’s failure to provided basic health services to Papuans has led to a high rate of death among mothers at child birth according to a recent report. An unconfirmed report claims that President Yudhoyono has committed to withdraw non-organic troops from West Papua and to suspend the operations of a special unit proposed to address fundamental Jakarta-Papua problems. The cost in human life for Papuans of Jakarta’s decades of neglect of the Papuan population is well documented. Amnesty International met with a senior official in Jakarta to press for release of political prisoners, particularly in West Papua and Maluku. The three-month old strike by workers at the Freeport McMoRan mines appears to be headed toward resolution.

Contents:

Brutal “Sweeping Operation” Continues to Displace Civilians in Paniai

Despite efforts by the Indonesian government and its security forces to block all monitoring of developments in the Paniai region of West Papua, courageous journalists, human rights advocates and others have been able to report on the ongoing tragedy there. Since the first days of December, Indonesian security forces, including the U.S.-trained and funded Detachment 88, Brimob elements, and units of the Indonesian military, have been conducting a massive “sweeping” campaign, purportedly targeting local leaders of the pro-independence Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM). Hundreds and in all probability thousands of villagers have been driven from their homes due to the violence unleashed by government forces which has destroyed churches, homes, and public buildings.

An early December report carried in the Jakarta Post revealed the dimensions of the human tragedy now unfolding:

About 500 inhabitants of Dagouto village in Paniai Regency, Papua, have opted to leave their homes and seek refuge following the deployment of 150 Mobile Brigade officers to their area, Paniai tribe council chief John Gobai said Wednesday.
 
“Our people have become refugees at Uwatawogi Hall in Enarotali, Paniai, for several weeks. They are now afraid they may not be able to celebrate Christmas at home,” John told reporters at the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM). John, along with four other Paniai people, was at the commission to complain about the presence of police officers in the area, which they said “exacerbated the security situation.”
 
The National Police has increased its numbers of personnel in the regency following several deadly shootings, reportedly claiming the lives of eight traditional miners working on the Degeuwo River, near Dagouto, last month.

Indonesian Human Rights Commission Calls for Withdrawal of Security Forces from Paniai

On December 17, Jubi reported that the Indonesian Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) called on the Indonesian Chief of Police to immediately withdraw all Brimob troops (the militarized police) from the West Papua district of Paniai and to refrain from sending any additional personnel there.

The request came in the wake of widespread reports (see above) of brutal security force sweeping operations that had targeted civilians.

The deputy head of Komnas HAM, M. Ridha Saleh, wrote the chief of police in response to a formal complaint made by the chairman of the Regional Traditional Council (DAD) in Paniai. The letter cited two recent incidents involving members of the police force: A shooting near the copper-and-gold mine in Degheuwo which led to the death of a civilian. And the situation following the dispatch of 150 additional Brimob troops who arrived in Enarotali on November 11-14, 2011

The letter called for the removal of a Brimob post set up in the midst of several kampungs and for a police investigation into the death of Mateus Tenouye. The letter noted that only a Brimob withdrawal could enable Paniai to return to their daily lives which have been badly disrupted by security operations by Brimob and other Indonesian security personnel.

(WPAT Note: There are consistent reports of the involvement of Detachment 88, Kopassus, and other TNI personnel in the sweeping operations. Neither the U.S. nor Australian governments have made any comment regarding their support for an organization that in this instance, and in numerous previous incidents, has resorted to brutality in dealing with peaceful non-combatants.)

The Komnas HAM appeal concluded with a call for dialogue among all parties.

Inadequate Health Care Responsible for High Rate of Death of Mothers at Child Birth

The Jakarta Post reports that maternal deaths in West Papua remain high. Victor Nugraha, an official with the Papuan Health Agency, speaking to media in Manokwari, said that the rate of deaths in 2011 would be at least as high as in 2010. Real figures, he added, were difficult to ascertain because many cases of death during child birth are not recorded due to the shortage of medical personnel to maintain records.

According to the official the main causes of maternal death were hemorrhage, post-pregnancy infections, and hypertension. Anemia due to iron deficiency can lead to hemorrhaging. Beside low iron levels due to poor nutrition, anemia can also be caused by malaria, which is common in West Papua. The official also explained that late pregnancy checks and poor surgery facilities for caesarean sections in clinics also contribute to maternal deaths.

This report echoes a far more detailed study conducted in the Kebar Valley of West Papua in 2008 (see Health care in the Bird’s Head Peninsula. Its conclusions are stark:

  • Out of 708 pregnancies 4.7% led to miscarriage and 1.4% of the children were born dead.
  • Out of 665 child births, where the baby was born alive, 213 baby’s and children eventually died. This is an infant mortality rate of 32.0%. This means that almost 1 out of 3 children dies before its fifth birthday.
  • 57.3% of the died children (213) were younger than 1 year old. 27.7% is between the age of 1 to 5 when it dies.
  • Most baby’s and toddlers (32.9%) died of fever or malaria. Fever in combination with coughing (probably pneumonia) causes a mortality rate of 13.9%.
  • Diarrhea, icterus, prematures and pulmonary affections like tuberculosis, pneumonia and bronchitis also occur, but in smaller numbers.
  • In 12.7% of the dead infants the cause of death was unknown, according to the mother.
  • 94.4% of the pregnant women give birth at home, whether or not with the presence of a traditional midwife .
  • 14 children were born twins; 3 are still alive.

WPAT Comment: Inadequate health services are common throughout those areas of West Papua where the majority of Papuans live. Services are better, sometimes substantially so, in towns where the majority of the non-Papuan, government-assisted migrants live. Totally inadequate health services, along with government failure to provide education or employment opportunities, in majority Papuan populated areas have inevitably contributed to lower birth rates for West Papuans and greater deaths among Papuan children under the age of five. This decades-old policy of neglect of Papuans constitutes one of the bases of charges of genocide leveled against the Indonesian government.
 

Report of Major Jakarta Pledge on Demilitarization of West PapuaWest Papua Media Alerts on December 18 reported that President Yudhoyono made a commitment to Papuan Church leaders in a December 16 meeting to withdraw non-organic troops from West Papua. He reportedly said that he would suspend the activities of the special Unit to Accelerate the Development of Papua and West Papua (UP4B) which was to have addressed fundamental issues in the Jakarta-Papua relationship.

Key Papuan leaders in attendance included: Chair of the Papua GKI Synod, Yemima Kret; Chair of the Baptist Church of Papua, Socrates Sofyan Yoman; Chair of the Kingmi Synod, Benny Giay; Martin Luther Wanma and Rika Korain.

Upon hearing an appeal for an end to the troop presence the President reportedly asked the Police Chief and Commander of the TNI to stop the violence. According to Rev. Benny Giay, the President commanded the Chief of Police and the Armed Forces (TNI) “to stop the violence in Paniai, at least during the month of Christmas.” However, Pastor Gomar Gultom, also at the meeting, told the media that the President did not mention a specific deadline for withdrawal of non-organic troops.

With regards to efforts to launch a Jakarta-Papua dialogue, Gultom said the two sides have not yet decided on the dialogue format or issues to be discussed. Religious leaders are scheduled to meet again in mid-January 2012 to formulate the program in more detail.

Gultom added that President SBY spoke about the UP4B led by Lt. Gen. ( ret) Bambang Darmono. The Religious leaders said that UP4B was formed unilaterally, without hearing the aspirations of the Papuan people. “There is a meeting point agreed upon last night. All points will be evaluated together, and UP4B will be stopped until results of the joint evaluation are available,” he said.

WPAT Comment: There is no evidence as of early January that any of the undertakings reportedly set forth by President Yudhoyono have in fact come to pass. Fighting in Paniai continues and there has been no announcement of a suspension of the operation of UP4B.

Amnesty International Appeals for Political Prisoners Release

On December 6, Amnesty International officials met with Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Law, Politics and Security, Djoko Suyanto to urge the Indonesian Government free political prisoners incarcerated for peacefully expressing their views. Amnesty urged the government “to integrate human rights in their efforts to address the situation in Papua.”

Amnesty International’s presentation focused on at least 90 people who are in prison in West Papua and Maluku for peaceful pro-independence activities, including Filep Karma, a Papuan independence leader currently serving a 15-year sentence in Abepura, Papua. Filep’s case has received special attention by the human rights group.

The meeting took place less than one month following the brutal assault on the Papuan Third National Congress during which peaceful Papuan dissenters were beaten and killed and many were arrested, only to join the growing ranks of Papuan political prisoners.

Amnesty argued that “the Indonesian government should free all those who are detained in Papua and Maluku for peacefully expressing their views, including through raising or waving the prohibited pro-independence flags, and distinguish between peaceful and violent political activists.” Amnesty pointed out that although the government had the duty and the right to maintain public order, its actions restricting freedom of expression and peaceful assembly had violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Indonesia has ratified.

Amnesty stressed the need to set up a human rights court and a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate cases of human rights violations since Indonesia annexed Papua in the 1960s.

According to the Jakarta Globe, Minister Djoko Suyanto at the meeting expressed the government’s commitment to ensure accountability for human rights abuses committed by security forces.

Freeport Strike Grinds Toward Resolution

In early December worker representatives and the Freeport McMoRan corporation reached a tentative deal whereby workers would return to their job sites, thus ending a crippling strike which left the world’s largest copper and gold operation at a standstill since workers began striking the massive West Papua mine site in September. The Indonesian government was losing $8 million worth of taxes, royalties and dividends each day the strike continued.

As of late December, workers had not yet resumed work owing to unresolved issues outside the framework of the new contract. Principal among these is the workers insistence that their leaders not be sanctioned either by Freeport McMoRan, which had talked of firing them, or the police, who have threatened to arrest them for “subversion.” The status of a number of contract workers were also at issue. Workers have also insisted on security measures that will preclude additional violence by unidentified elements thought possibly to have ties to the authorities.

The workers achieved significant concessions in their over three months long strike. The key provisions of the new contract is an agreement by Freeport McMoRan to a pay rise of 40 percent over two years. The current pay is $2-$3 an hour. The union had demanded an hourly rate of $7.50.

Paniai people call for a halt to the deployment of more troops

JUBI, 25 August 2011

Following the armed skirmishes between the Indonesian army and police with a group thought to be the TPN/OPM led by John Magay Yogi, and a number of mysterious shooting incidents, the towns of Enarotali and Madi in Paniai district are full of military personnel who have arrived from outside Paniai.  Although the situation was thought to have improved, the presence of military personnel has spread anxiety among the population.

The reason for the increased deployment of troops to Paniai may be to hunt down some weapons that were seized by unidentified persons from the police station in Komopa, sub-district of Agadide on 16 August.  Or is it because Paniai is regarded as an area of conflict which needs extra action on the security front?

Whatever the reason, the local people along with local government officials long for a peaceful Paniai and call for a halt to the dispatch of more military troops. The local people have called on the local military chief, the military commander of XVII/Cenderawasih military command as well as President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to pull back these troops from the area.

A local community leader said: ‘Paniai is calm but many troops and police have been sent here. Is it because there is a war?’

According to Yafeth Y Kayame, head of the Suku Mee people, the additional deployment of many troops to Paniai has undermined the call for peace that was made last Saturday in Enarotali.. Local people have become more frightened than ever.

People are asking ‘Why have they come to Paniai? Enarotali and Paniai are not areas of conflict so the authorities must stop sending troops here.’ They have been arriiving here over the past four days, so who do they want to fight with? Or do they want to kill all of us here?’

The local administration should not keep silent but should take steps to safeguard security for the population. If it is only to re-capture two firearms, then the troops already here would surely be enough, without bringing in more troops, they say.

Many people think that the presence in the area of TPN/OPM forces in Eduda is being used as a justification to bring troops here from Jayapura and Nabire. According to some sources, in addition to infantry brigade 753/Arga Vira Tama Nabire, a Brimob company is also being deployed to Paniai.

Although this has been denied by Major-General Erfi Triassunu, the military commander of XVII/Cenderawasih military command, the fact is that these ‘new’ troops can be seen almost every day driving along the roads in convoys.

Meanwhile, anxiety has continued to spread among the local people and many have left their homes with a new exodus starting on Tuesday.

[Slightly abridged translation by TAPOL]

Arrival of troops spread panic, say church personnel

Jubi, 23 August 2011
The dispatch of troops by air and land via Nabire has caused panic in Paniai, said a nun working for the Catholic Church in Paniai who did not want her name to be made public.   The people from Paniai had just returned home following a firefight between TPN/OPM fighters and the security forces but left their homes again when they saw heavily armed Brimob troops arriving in the town, she said.

A church official said that some of those who had fled after the shooting had not returned home and their present whereabouts were not known.  ‘We think that some of them have fled to far-away kampungs. and dont want to return to the town which is full of heavily armed troops whose presence is very frightening,’ the official said.   They would only come back when the town had been cleared of the troops.   The church official said they were refusing to come back because they knew that the fighting had been a put-up job and they didn’t want to become casualties.

‘They have very good reason to be afraid,’ the official said, ‘because they know that the security forces have arrested a number of school children from the SMP and SMA [lower and upper middle schools] as well as some other young people. These youngsters were interrogated then ordered to do push-ups.   They were only released, after we went to the police station and asked for them to be released.’

AAP: PNG launches border security operation

PAC:PNG launches border security operation

PORT MORESBY, Jan 17 AAP – Papua New Guinea has launched its biggest ever joint forces security crackdown on the border with Indonesia to combat illegal activities like people smuggling, gun and drug trafficking._

PNG’s Defence Force has massed in Vanimo, in PNG’s West Sepik Province, along with police, customs and foreign affairs officials, to tackle the numerous illicit acts perpetrated along the border region._

The operation, codenamed Sunset Merona and set to cost 5.3 million kina ($A2 million), was launched at the weekend as a show of strength by the PNG government, both PNG’s national newspapers reported on Monday._

PNG’s Acting Police Commissioner Anthony Wagambe told assembled troops the massive effort would tackle one of the country’s ongoing problems: border security._

“This is one of the biggest combined operations that involve government agencies to ensure the sovereignty of our country is maintained,” he said._

Acting director general of PNG’s National Security Advisory Committee Secretariat, Ian Jinga, said the operation proved the government was committed to border protection.

“We are all aware of our border problems,” he said.

“There are national border agencies on the ground in the border provinces that are tasked to work closely with provincial authorities to manage our international borders, however, due to logistical and resource constraints these authorities are unable to effectively manage our borders.”

Mr Jinga said this latest effort would change that.

“The national government is here to establish its authority,” he said.

AAP ig/srp _