Monday, February 25, 2013

1) Papua Ambush Just One Attack: Survivor

1) Papua Ambush Just One Attack: Survivor
3) Papua attack linked to election
4) Kontras Urges President to Visit Papua

1) Papua Ambush Just One Attack: Survivor
Banjir Ambarita | February 25, 2013

Details of an armed ambush that killed 10 people in Papua’s Puncak Jaya district were revealed after a survivor told his version of being attacked. 

Police had reported that an armed group ambushed military convoys at two locations in the restive district, killing eight soldiers. A military helicopter managed to evacuate the dead and survivors of the attack to the Papuan capital,Jayapura. 

On Sunday, one survivor recounted that there was one attack and said that only seven soldiers were killed while three more were injured but survived. The survivor also said that three civilians were killed in the incident. 

Johanes Johni, the civilian who survived the attack, said that he was in a military convoy consisting of 10 soldiers and four civilians who were working at a community health clinic in the Peak District’s Sinak. The convoy was travelling from Sinak to an airstrip two kilometers away. 

Johanes said his convoy was attacked on three sides.

“The first was some shots fired from the front. Everyone immediately took cover on the ground, then there were shots from the mountains. Next thing you know there were people with machetes attacking us,” he said at Dian Harapan Hospital in Waena, Jayapura, where he was being treated. 

Johanes said the soldiers were wearing civilian clothes and were not carrying their weapons at the time. 

“Because they were not carrying weapons, the soldiers could not fight back. They just ducked down while bullets showered down on us,” he said. 

“The attackers were not all men. There were also women and children, but most of them are men. They came with machetes and arrows.” 

Johanes said that amid the chaos he tried to run but was slashed in his right arm before leaping into a ravine and got stuck at the row of trees below. “The three soldiers who survived were also spared for jumping into the ravine,” he said. 

Maj. Gen. Christian Zebua, commander of the Cendrawasih Military Command that oversees operations in Papua, said two platoons have been deployed to pursue the attackers. 

He identified them to be members of the local chapter of the armed rebel group the Free Papua Movement, led by guerilla leader Goliat Tabuni. 

“Two members of the Goliat Tabuni gang have been shot dead and several others were injured as we conducted a pursuit at the Gunung Lima Jari area in Tingginambut [subdistrict],” the three-star general said.
Posted at 06:31 on 25 February, 2013 UTC
A leading researcher on West Papua says last week’s fatal shootings in Puncack Jaya could be the result of the proliferation of guns in the troubled region.
Eight Indonesian soldiers and four civillians were killed in two separate shooting incidents in the remote Highlands regency, for which military chiefs have blamed the separatist OPM Free West Papua Movement.
Jim Elmslie of Sydney University’s West Papua Project says it’s probably the most deadly attack on military in Papua since the mid-1990s and represents a serious escalation in tensions in the region.
He says the region is more militarised than ever before and that there are many weapons in circulation.
“There’s been long stories of people being able to buy weapons which originated in the military on the black market. And at stages, there have been well-grounded accusations that police or military have supplied weapons to Papuans to act on their behalf.”
Jim Elmslie


3) Papua attack linked to election

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Overwhelmed: Ida Marbun (right), the fiancé of slain soldier Sgt. Frans Hera, cries after identifying his body, in Jayapura, Papua, on Sunday. The soldier’s body was later transported to his hometown in Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi. Ida and Frans planned to marry in June. JP/Nethy DharmaSombaThe shooting deaths of eight soldiers and four civilians in Papua on Thursday may be connected to the province’s recent gubernatorial election, according to the police.

Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Tito Kurniawan said here on Sunday that the police suspected that the supporters of those who were expected to lose the election might have been behind the attacks.

According to Tito, the attacks came on Thursday, just two days before the Papua General Elections Commission was slated to convene a plenary session to verify the vote count and announce a winner in the gubernatorial election, which was held on Feb. 14.

The police chief speculated that the attacks might have been launched to force the postponement of the plenary session.

While Lukas Enembe, backed by a coalition led by the Democratic Party, was certified as the winner by the Papua KPUD, the five losing campaigns have asked the Constitutional Court to overturn the commission’s certification of Lukas’ victory.

Tito denied that the killings were connected with Papua’s prolonged secessionist movement. “The incident should not be connected with the separatist movement. If its purpose was to have backed Papua’s independence, why did they not launch a major attack with numerous victims far beforehand?”

He said he assigned his chief detective, Sr. Comr. Bambang Priambada, to lead a team working with local Indonesian Military (TNI) forces to arrest the perpetrators of the attacks. “The team will pursue those who committed the shooting, investigate their motives and bring them to justice.”

Eight soldiers were killed in two separate ambushes in Puncak and neighboring Puncak Jaya regency on Thursday. The regencies are known as a stronghold for separatists who have battled for independence from Indonesia for decades.

The first attack was carried out by a group of unidentified gunmen who attacked a TNI guard post in Tingginambut, Puncak Jaya, leaving one soldier dead and another injured.

About an hour after the attack, another group of armed assailants ambushed a squad of 10 soldiers who were on their way to the Sinak airstrip in Sinak, Puncak. Seven of the 10 soldiers and four civilians were killed.

The bodies of 11 of those slain on Thursday have been taken to Jayapura on Sunday after a helicopter sent to recover the bodies was shot at and forced to return to its base.

The incident was the latest in a series of attacks against security personnel in the restive province.

Previously, two police officers were killed when unidentified gunmen assaulted a police station in Mulia.

In Jakarta, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has condemned the incident, instructing officials to find the perpetrators, while Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto, who recently visited Papua, attributed the attacks to groups supporting the Free Papua Movement (OPM).

A senior politician from the National Mandate Party (PAN) also condemned the shootings, calling for the government to reevaluate its policy in the province.

“The incident indicates that a segment of the Papuan people hates the TNI and the police as representative of the state in Papua and West Papua,” PAN deputy chairman Bara Hasibuan said. “The government must necessarily reevaluate all the actions it has taken to resolve the Papuan situation.”

Bara said that Jakarta should stop looking down at Papuans and trust the province’s residents to manage their domestic affairs under the law on special autonomy. He also said that security matters in the province should be left to the police, not the TNI.

Bara said that the government should hold comprehensive and open dialogues with all parties, including the OPM, to solve Papua and West Papua’s political, security, economic and human rights problems.

According to Bara, security disturbances in the province would continue unless all groups fighting for Papua’s independence were invited to seek a comprehensive solution.

Bara said that he regretted that a decade of special autonomy given to the province has enriched only the elite while a majority of residents remain in poverty.

“The government should hold a dialogue with all elements to convince everyone that Papua’s integration into Indonesia was final during the 1969 self-determination vote,” Bara said.

He said that he also wanted the government to form a reconciliation and rehabilitation committee to handle allegations of unresolved human rights abuses and to rehabilitate human rights victims and their relatives.

4) Kontras Urges President to Visit Papua

Farouk Arnaz, Markus Junianto Sihaloho, Ezra Sihite & Banjir Ambarita | February 25, 2013
A leading human rights activist group has blamed poor law enforcement for last Thursday’s murder of eight soldiers and four civilians in Puncak Jaya, Papua. 

In a statement on Saturday, the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) questioned the police’s effectiveness in enforcing the law in the restive province. 

After expressing sadness over the deaths, Kontas coordinator Haris Azhar said: “This series of violent acts are crimes that have to be responded to with legal enforcement.” 

Haris said that greater transparency in the legal process following such crimes would likely reduce the number of instances of violence in Papua, given the current extent of secrecy. 

Kontras data showed that in Puncak Jaya there were 15 cases of violence since the start of last year, including two incidents in which unidentified people snatched firearms from officers. 

In the 15 incidents, nine military officers, two police officers and 10 civilians died. One military officer and nine civilians were also hurt. 

“The violence in Puncak Jaya doesn’t care about the backgrounds of the victims, whether they are civilians or officers. That’s why we are questioning the model of operations and the security instructions applied in Papua,” he said. 

The National Liberation Army of the Free Papua Organization (TPN-OPM), which is led by Goliath Tabuni, has claimed responsibility for the deaths of the eight Indonesian Military (TNI) officers in Sinak and Tingginambut, Puncak Jaya. 

“All the shootings against the TNI-police officers in Puncak Jaya were purely [committed] by TPN-OPM,” Goliath’s confidant told Suara Pembaruan in Jayapura, Papua, on Saturday. 

Haris called on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to visit Papua and lead the law enforcement operation there. 

“The National Police must also meet the requirements as stipulated under the Indonesian criminal law system in upholding justice, which includes involving Komnas HAM [the National Commission on Human Rights] and the National Police Commission in the legal enforcement operation with regard to the Puncak Jaya incidents.” 

Mahfudz Siddiq, chairman of House of Representatives Commission I, said that officers became a target of violence because the state failed to offer a comprehensive solution to problems in Papua. 

He said that Commission I, which oversees defense and foreign affairs, concluded that the separatist movement started targeting military and police officers last year, with the intention of escalating the conflict and drawing international attention. 

Mahfudz said a comprehensive solution agreed to by all stakeholders is needed to overcome the problem. 

“The comprehensive solution should not be made only by the government but it should be a joint decision by the central government, regional government, the local people and groups, including traditional figures. I think this type of approach should be taken,” said the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) politician. 

He added that through such dialogue, the government would have strong grounds to enforce security and to maintain the state’s sovereignty. 

Fadli Zon, deputy chairman of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), called the killing of the officers cowardly acts and said the attackers should be punished for them. 

“This is a big blow for Indonesia. It was an act of cowardice. The perpetrators have to be revealed and justice must be served,” Fadli said in Jakarta on Sunday. 

Previously, police officers had been accused of torturing seven civilians in Papua when they tried to get information regarding pro-independence activists Seby Sambon and Terianus Soto. 

The incident allegedly took place more than a week ago at the Depapre and Jayapura police stations. 

Three civilians claimed that a Depapre officer hit them in the face repeatedly with his shoes, injuring their mouths, noses and foreheads. One of the three has had hearing problems due to the torture, they said. Four other civilians claimed officers at the Jayapura station gave them electric shocks. 

National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo denied the violence at Puncak Jaya was retaliation against the alleged torture of the seven civilians, saying that he has not received any report about the incident. 

Indonesia officially annexed Papua in 1969 with a United Nations-backed vote, seen by many as a sham, and tensions have persisted ever since.

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