Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
AWPA Update No 2/ 2023
30 March 2023
There has been no improvement in the situation in West Papua. Armed clashes have. continued between the Free Papua Movement and the Indonesian security forces with causalities on both sides. The New Zealand pilot Philip Mehrtens continues to be held hostage by the TPNPB who released a second video calling for UN mediation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Sp9h1GW5ZA
Armed conflict in Papua getting worse, says Usman Hamid
Jubi 15 March 2023
Jayapura, Jubi – Executive Director of Amnesty International Indonesia Usman Hamid said the armed conflict in Papua between the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) and Indonesian security forces has gotten more alarming and increasingly difficult to control. Violence and alleged human rights violations continue to occur against civilians and people working in the humanitarian field.
“In the last 15 years, there has been excessive use of force and security facilities, including in terms of legal processes. This method is often used when dealing with large conflicts,” said Usman Hamid during an online public discussion “Bloody Wamena: Is There an Element of Humanitarian Crimes” on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. During the mass riot in Wamena recently on February 23, Usman said, there was excessive and unnecessary use of firearms by the security forces. “The riot was triggered by an allegation of child abduction. There was misunderstanding among residents. The police’s method to resolve the problem need to be evaluated because a dialog was held in between the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator. It was irrelevant and can potentially create new problems,” he said. Usman Hamid added that with the excessive use of weapons in Papua, it was increasingly difficult to find common ground to resolve the armed conflict there. He said the state needed to take serious steps right now because too many lives have been sacrificed in Papua because of the unprofessionalism of the security forces. “Therefore, the armed conflict in Papua must immediately find a solution. For example, through peaceful dialog,” he said. (*)
AWPA wrote to the Australian Foreign Minister on the issue
Student charged with treason after calling for referendum in free speech
Jubi 29 March 2023
Jayapura, Jubi – The Jayapura District Court on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, has held a hearing to read out the charges against Yoseph Ernesto Matuan, a student of the University of Science and Technology Jayapura (USTJ), who was charged with treason for calling for a referendum and raising the Morning Star flag. The trial was led by a panel of judges chaired by Zaka Talpatty with member judges Donald Everly Malubaya and Gracely Novendra Manuhutu.
On November 10, 2022, USTJ students protested inside the campus rejecting the dialogue plan of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) to resolve the Papua conflict. They made speeches demanding a referendum while raising the Morning Star flag.
In Tuesday’s hearing, public prosecutor Rakhnat stated that Yoseph Ernesto Matuan on November 10, 2022 gave a speech asking for a referendum and raised the Morning Star flag. The prosecutor said such an act was an attempt to separate Papua from Indonesia and make Papua a new country. The prosecutor also said that Matuan invited his colleagues to unfurl the Morning Star flag and banners and pamphlets that read “Reject Komnas HAM Dialogue Plan, Say Yes to Referendum, Free West Papua, Self Determination for West Papua”.
In the first indictment, the prosecutor charged Matuan with the offense of joint treason, as stipulated in Article 106 of the Criminal Code in conjunction with Article 55 Paragraph (1) to 1 of the Criminal Code. In the second indictment, the prosecutor charged Matuan with the offense of jointly making an attempt to commit treason as stipulated in Article 110 paragraph (1) of the Criminal Code jo Article 55 paragraph (1) to 1 of the Criminal Code.
The Coalition of Law Enforcement and Human Rights for Papua as Matuan’s legal counsel said they would file an exception to the prosecutor’s indictment. Chief Judge Zaka Talpatty then adjourned the hearing until April 3.
There are two other USTJ students going in the treason trial, namely Ambrosius Fransiskus Elopere and Devio Tekege. Both will undergo an indictment hearing on April 3. (*)
Anti-racism expression and referendum demand not treason, says expert witness in Viktor Yeimo’s trial
Jubi News Desk - Viktor Yeimo's Treason Trial 28 March 2023
Jayapura, Jubi – The Jayapura District Court on Monday, March 27, 2023, held another trial of treason against the International Spokesperson of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), Viktor Yeimo. In the hearing, expert witnesses presented by Yeimo’s side, Herlambang Wiratraman and Cahyo Pamungkas said that anti-racism expression and referendum demands were not treason.
The alleged treason case originated from the anti-racism protest against racial slurs directed at Papuan students at the Kamasan III Papuan Student Dormitory in Surabaya on August 16, 2019. Yeimo was charged with treason for allegedly leading the protests that took place in Jayapura City on August 19 and 29, 2019.
The case was first registered at the Jayapura District Court on August 12, 2021. The trial is now led by a panel of judges chaired by Mathius with member judges Andi Asmuruf and Linn Carol Hamadi. In Monday’s hearing, law lecturer Herlambang Wiratraman of Gadjah Mada University was examined as an expert on human rights and democracy. Herlambang said the expression of anti-racism and the political expression demanding referendum could not be called treason, as freedom of expression was guaranteed in Indonesian and international law. Herlambang said that freedom of expression was a human right protected by the state. The state is responsible to carry out efforts to promote human rights. “This responsibility is stipulated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ratified through Law No. 12/2005 which mandates the responsibility of the state to respect, protect and fulfill Human Rights Obligations in Freedom of Expression,” Herlambang said in court.
Herlambang also stated that racism was unacceptable, therefore protest against racism was an important part of the life of the nation and could not be called treason. He further said that political expression for self-determination was part of human rights. “There is no violation of the law in conveying political expression,” he said. According to him, referendum demands are one form of constitutional change known and recognized in state administration in Indonesia. He cited the referendum held in East Timor on August 30, 1999 facilitated by then Indonesian President B.J. Habibie. “The referendum expression is not treason because it is carried out democratically, and solidarity is an expression guaranteed in Indonesian and international law. Political expression cannot be associated with treason,” Herlambang said.
In line with Herlambang, Cahyo Pamungkas, who was presented as an expert on conflict resolution in Papua, reminded that enforcement against anti-racism protester would not solve the conflict in Papua, rather it would fuel Papuan people’s determination to fight the state as they already distrust and resent the Indonesian government.
“This trial is only causing new problems, adding the resentment of the Papuan people and activists toward the Indonesian government,” Cahyo said. The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) has identified four root causes in Papua conflict. Cahyo said these roots must be resolved through a peaceful dialogue, and not by criminalizing activists like Viktor Yeimo. The current Papua conflict, said Cahyo, was a continuation of the conflict that occurred in the past. In other words, it is an expression of disappointment from the Papuan people towards unfair distribution of resources in Papua, development inequality, and prolonged poverty among Papuans. The disappointment arises because of various forms of political violence experienced by Papuans, including the stigmatization of Papuans as separatists and other forms of discrimination and racism. “Anti-racism protests like the one attended by Viktor Yeimo were merely conveying the people’s disappointment,” he said. (*)
Indonesia: Protection of civic space remains in question despite UPR recommendations
Maret 28, 2023
The government of Indonesia must uphold its commitment to respect, protect, and fulfil human rights and urgently reverse the trend of shrinking civic space in the country, Amnesty International Indonesia and The Alliance of Independent Journalists said today, in response to the adoption of Indonesia’s Fourth Universal Periodic Review (UPR) during Human Rights Council’s 52nd Session.
Indonesia’s human rights record was recently reviewed for the fourth time during the 41st session of the UPR, during which Indonesia received 269 recommendations from 108 states to improve the human rights situation in the country to fulfil their human rights obligations........
West Papuans arrested for fund raising for the victims of the cyclones in Vanuatu
President Wenda: Indonesia makes humanitarianism illegal for West Papuans
March 29, 2023 in Statement
Today, Indonesia has shown that even humanitarianism is illegal in West Papua.
Twenty West Papuans who were fundraising for the victims of cyclones in Vanuatu were this morning arrested by Indonesian police in Jayapura. This was a peaceful, compassionate action, with Papuans taking to the streets to raise money for those affected by this latest Pacific natural disaster. The Indonesian response was to disband the march at the barrel of a gun. Armed Indonesian police sought to block activists at several points, forcibly disrupted the procession, and eventually conducted a series of arbitrary arrests.
Vanuatu was hit by two successive cyclones within 24 hours earlier this month. Homes and schools were destroyed, many were forced to flee to evacuation centres, and people lost access to water and electricity for several days. West Papuans see ni-Vanuatu as family; we naturally want to support them in their hour of need, just as they have always supported us in ours. By criminalising this act of solidarity, Indonesia have demonstrated they will not accept any form of Papuan assembly or self-expression.
This was not a political protest. Those present did not raise the Morning Star flag or call for independence. They only raised awareness and money for a fellow black Melanesian nation that has always supported the West Papuan struggle. Indonesia, like the ULMWP, is a member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) along with Vanuatu. They have an obligation to allow West Papuans to raise money to stop the suffering of their fellow member. ..............
New Zealand pilot Philip Mehrtens continues to be held hostage by the TPNPB.
RNZ reported that the Indonesian security forces launched an operation to rescue the pilot although unsuccessful.
From article (28 March 2023. Indonesian security forces in West Papua launched an offensive last week against the West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) command holding New Zealand pilot Philip Mehrtens hostage, RNZ Pacific can confirm. The operation was launched at 1am local time on Thursday March 23 in Nduga, Highland Papua and triggered a retaliatory attack from the separatist group with several casualties now confirmed by both sides. The TPNPB issued a statement on Sunday confirming the attack and said the operation violated the New Zealand Government's request for no violence. The rebel group said their district commander in Nduga Egianus Kogoya, who led the capture of Mertens, was among those attacked by Indonesian forces. They said one of their members was killed during the attack, but also claimed they have shot four Indonesian security personnel, killing one soldier and one police officer. It is not clear at this stage if Mehrtens - who has been held captive for the last 50 days - was present in the jungle hideout which was targeted.
Full article including interview with Andreas Harsono at https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/486901/indonesian-security-forces-launch-attack-on-west-papuan-militant-group-holding-nz-pilot
There have being numerous calls for his release including from church groups.
Church leaders ask Papuan rebels to free NZ pilot
The separatist group is using Philip Mehrtens, taken hostage on Feb. 7, to bargain with western-led international community
By UCA News reporter Published: March 28,
Church leaders in Indonesia’s Papua province have asked the separatist group to release a New Zealand pilot, held hostage for nearly two months to garner international support for the Papuan independence movement. "This act of hostage-taking cannot be justified by traditional norms and the Christian faith that we recognize as a guide in today's life," said an open letter issued by Papua Church Council on March 27. Philip Mark Mehrtens, 37, a pilot for Indonesian aviation company Susi Air, has been held hostage by the West Papua Liberation National Army – Free Papua Organization (TPNPB-OPM) since Feb. 7 in Nduga Regency in Papua Highlands. The Church council said the delay in releasing Mehrtens will give the Indonesian government legitimacy to deploy more troops in Papua and to set up more security bases in the region.
Tragically it has taken a hostage crisis for much of the mainstream media to pay attention to West Papua. As Ben Bohane reminds us in his opinion piece in the SMH 25 Feb.
"Just across the sea from us, 4 million West Papuans remain hostages to war, greed and timid diplomacy. No-one comes out of this long-running tragedy looking good; not Indonesia, not the UN, America, Australia or the paralysed Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), supposed to represent Melanesian interests.
Some see West Papua as “the Ukraine of the Pacific”. So it’s ironic that Australia is helping faraway Ukraine but not the one next door to us whose struggle is equally justified and ultimately more consequential for us. In West Papua, we remain on the wrong side of history, and humanity."
"Kidnapped pilot a frightening reminder of forgotten war on Australia’s doorstep"
Opinion pieces/articles are also an opportunity for people to respond in letter pages
SMH Letters page 27 February 2023
AWPA statement -Military operation-cause for concern. https://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com/2023/02/awpa-statement-military-operation-cause.html
Politics holds Papua hostage
Editorial board (The Jakarta Post) Jakarta ● Thu, February 16, 2023
Alas Papua has yet again come under international scrutiny amid the latest chapter in the violence that the country’s easternmost territory has grappled with for decades. This time around the West Papua National Liberation Army (TNPB), an armed wing of the Free Papua Organization (OPM) rebel group, has taken hostage a pilot working for Susi Air, Phillip Mark Mehrtens of New Zealand, after burning his aircraft in Nduga regency last week. As security forces deploy to track down the armed group, the TNPB released on Tuesday photos and video, which appeared to show that the foreign pilot was alive and well. "He is safe with our boys in the field, and everything is okay. He's staying with our friends and family at the [...] headquarters. He has good skills, and we will look after him and he will train our soldiers how to fly an aircraft," a spokesman for the group, Sebby Sambom, told RNZ Pacific.
At one point in the video sent to the media, including The Jakarta Post, the pilot said the rebel group would keep him in captivity for the rest of his life unless Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel are withdrawn from Papua. Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD said the government was seeking every path to release Mehrtens. Mahfud asserted that the government would take a persuasive approach in dealing with the abductors, but would remain open to “other options”. A team comprising the Nduga regent and several members of the local legislative council have been dispatched to the outlying district of Paro to negotiate with the group for the pilot’s release, with the police expecting the mission to be accomplished sooner rather than later.
But looking back at the way the government has dealt with the OPM, or popular dissent in general in Papua, there are reasons for us to worry about the endgame of this hostage taking. In 1996 the government entrusted the Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus), led by their commander at the time Brig. Gen. Prabowo Subianto, to launch a military operation to release 11 researchers, including four Britons and two Dutch, in Mapenduma district in the Jayawijaya highlands, now part of Nduga. Two of the hostages were killed in the operation, which marked a bloody end to a 130-day drama.
To quell the low-intensity rebellion in Papua the government, except under then-president Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid who briefly served in 1999-2001, has consistently maintained a security approach, which is marked by the deployment of military and police. With two military commands (Kodam) and an Army Strategic Reserves Command (Kostrad) brigade, plus military taskforces assigned along the borders with Papua New Guinea and a number of vital state facilities, such as a gold mine and gas refinery, the military deployment in Papua far exceeds that in other provinces. At the same time, the government has continued to force its will on the Papuans, as most recently evident in the formation of new provinces and regencies there without proper and meaningful consultation with local people. Unless this decades-long approach changes, conflict will continue to plague Papua and other hostage takings will recur and the cycle of violence will persist. Last November, without much fanfare the government reached an agreement in Geneva with the rebel groups on a humanitarian pause in Papua. But the deal, which aims to temporarily stop hostilities and violence in Papua, has not worked, which rights groups have blamed on a lack of transparency and a failure to involve all stakeholders. The negotiations to release the Susi Air pilot should serve as a precursor to another initiative toward a dialogue to end the ongoing violence in Papua and bring peace back to the land.
One of the conditions for such dialogue to take place must be the government’s willingness to curtail its ego and listen to the grievances of the local people. For a long time Jakarta has opted to make compromises with the local political elites, which has meant that Papua remains mired in poverty despite the billions of dollars in special autonomy funds transferred to the territory. A genuine, dignified dialogue will free Papua from poverty and hence violence.
Deadlier and more media savvy, separatist rebels evolve in Indonesia's Papua
REUTERS February 23, 2023 By Kate Lamb
JAKARTA, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Egianus Kogoya, the dreadlocked rebel behind the kidnapping of a New Zealand pilot this month in the highlands of Indonesia’s Papua region, is at the vanguard of an increasingly dangerous and media-savvy insurgency for independence. Separatist rebels kidnapped New Zealand pilot Philip Mehrtens, 37, after he landed his small plane in the remote Papuan highlands on Feb 7.
Sitting in the cockpit of the plane, Kogoya, wearing a denim jacket, bone necklace and mirror shades, with a hand draped over a rifle, appeared to relish posing as his men documented their most high-profile kidnapping to date.
In a series of videos, Kogoya demanded the resource-rich region's independence in return for Mehrtens' release. Fighters in the Indonesian, western half of New Guinea island have for decades waged a low-level battle for independence, but Kogoya and his gang have emerged as especially dangerous and unpredictable.
"What we are seeing is younger, new leadership among local rebel groups that is more aggressive and not necessarily strategic in the long term," said Deka Anwar, from the Jakarta-based think tank, the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC)...........
ULMWP calls on international community to seek conflict resolution in Papua
JUBI News Desk - 20 March 2023
Jayapura, Jubi – The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) has called on the international community to pay serious attention to the escalated violence that continued to occur in Papua, or internationally known as West Papua. Head of ULMWP’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau Daniel Randongkir said that ever since the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) took hostage New Zealand Susi Air pilot Philip Mark Mehrtens on February 7, 2023, tensions in Papua’s central mountainous region have escalated. The New Zealand government is pushing for Mehrtens’ peaceful release but the Indonesian Military (TNI) is preparing a military operation to free the pilot. Randongkir said the TPNPB action was an effort to draw world attention to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Papua, and to ask the international community to recognize the political independence of West Papua, which has been occupied by Indonesia since May 1, 1963. Negotiations for the release of the Susi Air pilot are ongoing but TPNPB does not want the Indonesian government to intervene in the negotiations.
Randongkir said that in the past week, there had been armed conflict between TPNPB and TNI in Puncak Papua, Intan Jaya, Jayawijaya, and Yahukimo regencies. This shows the escalation of armed conflict in Papua. According to Randongkir, since 2018 there have been more than 67,000 civilians displaced from conflict areas such as Intan Jaya, Nduga, Puncak, Puncak Jaya, Yahukimo, Bintang Mountains, and Maybrat regencies. They left their hometowns to seek refuge in other areas.
On March 16, 2023 the local government and the military began evacuating non-Papuans in Dekai, the capital of Yahukimo Regency, using military cargo planes. “Meanwhile, the indigenous people of Yahukimo were not evacuated from the city of Dekai,” Randongkir said in a press release received by Jubi on Saturday, March 18, 2023.
ULMWP assessed that the evacuation of non-Papuans was part of the TNI’s preparation to carry out full military operations. This has the potential to cause human rights violations. Past experience showed that TNI, when conducting military operations in Papua, did not pay attention to international humanitarian law. “They will destroy civilian facilities such as churches, schools, and health clinics, burn people’s houses, damage gardens, and kill livestocks belonging to the community. They will arrest civilians, even kill civilians suspected of being TPNPB members,” he said. Markus Haluk, the executive director of ULMWP in West Papua, said that regional organizations such as the Pacific Islands Forum and the African Caribbean Pacific, have called on the United Nations Human Rights Council to immediately send the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to West Papua. ULMWP hopes the international community can urge the Indonesian government to immediately stop all forms of crimes against humanity committed in West Papua, and bring about a resolution of the West Papua conflict through international mechanisms that respect humanitarian principles.
In addition, Haluk said that ULMWP also called on the Melanesian, Pacific, African, Caribbean and international communities to take concrete action through prayer and solidarity actions in resolving the conflict that has been going on for the past six decades, in order to realize justice, peace, independence and political sovereignty of the West Papuan Nation. (*)
West Papuan representatives has been Lobbying in our region updating Pacific leaders, politicians and civil society and church groups on the human rights situation in West Papua. West Papuan representatives have also lobbied the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) leaders to support full membership in the MSG for West Papua.
Some of the media coverage
Papua Merderka — Leaders of Chiefs Councils of Port Vila Town, Silae Vanua and Tabumamele, Chairman Dalesa’s Executive and Mr. Rumakiek
Vanuatu Daily Post. https://www.dailypost.vu/news/lobby-team-from-west-papua-assures-dalesa-of-same-focus-for-full-msg-membership/article_7d285ae0-c12b-5134-937d-f56063808bca.html
Rabuka backs call for Papua group to fully join MSG
An excellent article , Islands Business Magazine February 2023
Activists seek probe into Indonesia's Papua riots
By UCA News reporter Published: February 28, 2023
Catholic leaders say a thorough investigation is crucial to create a conducive atmosphere for talks in restive province
Catholic activists and human rights groups in Indonesia have demanded a thorough probe into a recent riot that claimed 12 lives in restive Papua province, where a separatist insurgency has been waged for decades. "One has to find out why civilians can be treated in such an inhuman way by being shot, not through persuasive means," Father John Bunai from the Diocese of Jayapura, capital of Papua province, told UCA News on Feb. 27. Father Bunai, a Jayapura diocese delegate for the Papua Peace Network, which promotes dialogue to resolve the ongoing conflict in Indonesia's easternmost province, said a thorough investigation was crucial for the creation of a conducive atmosphere for talks.
"It is not enough to remove the local police chief”
The police arrested the duo and claimed that the kidnapping was misinformation. However, angry residents attacked the police.
In the clashes, 10 Papuans died, and 20 others were injured, while two other migrants from the Batak tribe died after they were attacked by residents.
National police chief Listyo Sigit Prabowo dismissed the Jayawijaya police chief, Hesman Sotarduga Napitupulu, following the incident. Police arrested 13 people accused of instigating the riot. Father Bunai said police had to explain clearly what happened on Feb. 23, and "it is not enough to remove the local police chief." “What must be done is to find out why civilians were shot indiscriminately. Why do they [police officers] see Papuans as enemies?" he said. He said the police's explanation was important so as not to create the impression that they were on the side of one community.
"Such efforts have only made the situation worse”
Indonesia's security forces have long been accused of committing atrocities against Papuan civilians during the decades-long insurgency in the mineral-rich province.
Father Alexandro Rangga from Franciscans’ Secretariat for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, criticized the way the authorities handled the incident, as well as the deployment of additional troops. "Those who should be involved in calming the situation are traditional leaders and religious leaders, not the deployment of troops,” he said. "Such efforts have only made the situation worse," he told UCA News.
Usman Hamid, executive director of Amnesty International Indonesia, said what happened “indicates the repetition of cases of violence that have claimed the lives of many civilians in Papua." He said it "must be investigated through a fair and impartial legal process.” Fatia Maulidiyanti, coordinator of the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence, said shootings at civilians showed that police “were not competent enough to prevent conflicts."
Throughout 2022, 9,205 security forces sent to Papua and West Papua
Jubi 1 March 2023
Jayapura, Jubi – The Democracy Alliance for Papua (AlDP) recorded at least 9,205 Indonesian Military (TNI) and Poice personnel were stationed in Papuaand West Papua provinces in 2022. AlDP assesses that such placement is related to the division of Papua and West Papua to four new provinces. Coordinator of the AlDP Administration Division Antoni Ibra, during the launch of the 2022 General Situation Report on Human Rights in Papua held online on Monday, February 27, 2023, said throughout 2022 there were 4,205 TNI members known to be seconded in Papua, and six task forces whose exact number of personnel was unknown. AlDP estimates that the number of TNI personnel seconded to Papua in 2022 reached 7,850 people.
There are also 455 Mobile Brigade (Brimob) members sent to Papua, and at least nine other Brimob squads. AlDP estimates their total number to be at least 1,355 people.
Antoni said it was difficult to ascertain how many personnel were seconded in Papua because neither the TNI nor the Police have clearly announced the figure.
According to him, the security approach taken by the Indonesian government in Papua has always been characterized by sending massive troops to carry out a number of military operations. “There are military operations other than war, pursuing armed groups, securing border areas,” he said. Antoni Ibra assessed that although the security apparatus often changed the name of the task force seconded to Papua, there was no change in the way they worked. “Gen. Andika Perkasa when he became TNI Commander changed the name of the task force from
TNI Commander sends off 850 soldiers to Indonesia-PNG border
Antara News 24th March 2023
Palembang, S Sumatra (ANTARA) - National Defense Forces (TNI) Commander Admiral Yudo Margono flagged off the departure of 850 soldiers of the Indonesia-Papua New Guinea Border Security Task Force to Papua and West Papua from Palembang, South Sumatra, on Friday. "The task force consists of 450 soldiers of raider infantry battalion 200/Bhakti Negara Kodam II/Sriwijaya and 400 soldiers of infantry battalion 133/ Yudha Sakti Kodam I/Bukit Barisan," he informed after an operation readiness check ceremony at Boom Baru Port in Palembang.
The Indonesia (RI) - Papua New Guinea Border Security Task Force was dispatched on Friday to replace the previous task force that carried out its duty for 12 months, he said.
"Those who departed today will serve for 12 months to maintain security together with other units," he informed. Margono further said that he attended the dispatch ceremony to motivate the soldiers and to inspect their equipment directly. "I must check the military equipment and the logistics that have been given by the TNI Headquarters so the soldiers can use them to carry out their duties with complete equipment professionally," he explained. He said that Papua region is generally safe, but there are some areas that are facing security risks from separatist groups. "Therefore, the RI-Papua New Guinea Border Security Task Force has been placed in vulnerable areas to maintain security so that people can carry out their daily routines safely and there is no disturbance," the TNI Commander added. Reporter: Ahmad B, Kenzu Editor: Rahmad Nasution
Daily news items in relationship to West Papua can be found at
Opinion Pieces/media releases/reports etc.
West Papua: How should Indonesian govt, international community, UN respond to OPM hostage demands?
Tricked by a hoax’
In West Papua, using culture to save the forest
Extrajudicial killings and oppression continue in West Papua: Indonesia and Japan
‘Killing Us as if We Were Animals’: 12 Dead After Police Open Fire on Civilians https://www.vice.com/en/article/88qwe3/mass-killing-civilians-indonesia-papua
PAPUA REPORT 2023 FEBRUARI (In Bahasa) https://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com/2023/03/papua-report-2023-februari-in-bahasa_1.html