Friday, August 19, 2011

Military operation in mountain of the Black Soil

The Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

Media release 17 August 2011

Military operation in mountain of the Black Soil

Up to 300 members of the security forces ( military and police ) have been conducting a military operation in the hills around Nafri village searching for the perpetrators of a shooting that occurred in the village early on the 1st August. In the incident four people, including a member of the TNI were killed. Because a Morning Star flag was found near the incident the Jayapura Police were quick to blame the Free Papua Movement (OPM) for the attack in which unidentified assailants sprayed a small bus with bullets as it passed through Nafri village. However, Forkorus Yoboisembut, chairman of the Papua Traditional Council (DAP), claimed that there was more to the incident than met the eye. “This could be the work of people who do not want to see stability in Papua,” he told the Jakarta Globe. The local rebel commander, Lambert Pekikir denied involvement in an ambush saying the OPM fighting for independence would not randomly kill their own people.

Members of Detachment 88 were also brought in to hunt for the unidentified attackers

Sweeping operation. Photos from Bintang Papua

Another shootout took place in the Tanah Hitam mountain early yesterday, Tuesday 16 August after the banned Morning Star flag was raised a day before Indonesia Independence Day According to witnesses a shootout ensued after a joint team of police and military officers arrived to take it down. Papua police spokesman Sr. Comr. Wachyono said the joint forces were currently sweeping the mountain to find the perpetrators and prevent more incidents from taking place.

During the military sweeps of the area police claim they found documents that allegedly belong to the OPM including flags, ammunition of various types , bows and arrows, mobile phones and a list of up to 19 OPM members. The search is continuing. The Police Chief also said they would secure the city of Jayapura with 800 personnel for Indonesian Independence day, the 17 August.


Police show one of the flags found during military operation. From Cenderwasih Pos

As with all military operations there is great concern for the civilian population as the security forces have great difficulty distinguishing between so called separatists and civilians.

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