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1) Police Reveal Latest Development on Papua Hostage Situation
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - National Police spokesperson Insp. Gen. Setya Wasisto has revealed the latest development related to a hostage situation in Papua. He said that a pregnant woman was allowed to leave her home in Kimbely village to deliver her baby on Sunday.
Meanwhile, villagers of Kimbely and Banti still need food, particularly milk for children. The local government has sent two containers of assistances. As for medical aids, police expect to enter the region with medical teams.
Villagers of Kimbley and Banti have been held hostage by armed groups in the past week. They are not allowed to leave the areas but they can continue their daily activities.
Police continue to amicably resolve the conflict. The negotiation process is carried out with the help of religious and local figureheads.
However, human rights lawyer Veronica Koman said that villagers of Banti, Mimika, have not yet received food from the Papua provincial government as of this morning.
Yesterday, Veronica was told by fellow activists in Papua that the police and military have intensified their operations in the area. Local activists reported that the security forces held aids from the Papua provincial government over fear that the West Papua National Liberation Army and the Independent Papua Organization (TPN-OPM) would receive them.
Veronica said that locals can still feed themselves out of their garden. But the number of security forces in the areas make them feel intimidated.
“Instead, they eat at nearby kiosks; even then, they are still being questioned by securities. They feel uncomfortable and intimidated,” he said.
She added that locals said that they feel safe but fear the military and police more than the insurgent groups.