Monday, November 13, 2017

1) Police Reveal Latest Development on Papua Hostage Situation

2) Gemma Holliani Cahya The Jakarta Post
3) Freeport Indonesia reopens mine access after shooting

MONDAY, 13 NOVEMBER, 2017 | 17:50 WIB
1) Police Reveal Latest Development on Papua Hostage Situation

TEMPO.COJakarta - 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.

Tougher steps needed to tackle Papuan separatist: Watchdog
2) Gemma Holliani Cahya The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Mon, November 13, 2017 | 06:14 pm
Indonesia Police Watch (IPW) presidium chairman Neta S. Pane has urged the National Police to take bolder measures to solve the ongoing hostage crisis in Papua.
More than 1,300 people have been taken hostage in Banti and Kimbely villages in Tembagapura district, Mimika regency, Papua, since Nov. 5 by armed separatists from the Free Papua Movement (OPM).
“They have been taken hostage for a week. The police need to deploy Brimob [Mobile Brigade] and Densus 88 counterterrorism squad. They should also ask for help from the Indonesian Military [TNI] to free the hostages,” Neta said on Monday.
He said taking hostages was a new method employed by the separatist group, pointing out that “they have never taken hostages before.”
IPW considers the hostage crisis as a more aggressive strategy taken by OPM. Citing its investigation, the watchdog said OPM had moved their headquarters from Australia to Suva, the capital of Fiji, a South Pacific island country.
“Their shift in strategy is related to the changes in their headquarters and organization,” Neta said. “The government must anticipate the new maneuvers of these armed criminals.”
Five shops owned by residents in Utikini village were set ablaze by an armed group on Nov. 5.
In late October, a Brimob officer was killed during a shoot-out with armed assailants in Utikini amid escalating attacks in the mining area.
TNI commander Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo said the military was ready to end the crisis the "hard" way if negotiations failed. (ebf)

3) Freeport Indonesia reopens mine access after shooting
PUBLISHEDNOV 13, 2017, 12:58 PM SGT
JAKARTA (REUTERS) - The Indonesian unit of Freeport-McMoRan Inc has reopened the main supply route to its huge copper mine in Papua, the company said on Monday (Nov 13), after the road was closed on Sunday (Nov 12) following a shooting incident in the area.
No one was reported injured when shots were fired at an escort vehicle travelling from the lowlands, but Freeport cancelled all convoys along the road on Sunday afternoon while the security situation was assessed.
"It was already open this morning," Freeport Indonesia spokesman Riza Pratama said, when asked about the status of the road. The temporary closure has had no impact on production at the world's second-biggest copper mine, Pratama said.

The incident was the latest in a string of shootings near the mine since mid-August that have killed one police officer and wounded at least six others.
Authorities have declared a state of emergency and stepped up security in the area around Tembagapura village, about 10km from the mine.
The separatist West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-OPM), a group linked to the Free Papua Movement, has said it is at war with police, military and Freeport. It was not immediately clear if TPN-OPM was behind Sunday's shooting.
Police in Indonesia's eastern-most province on Sunday said they would issue a notice to an "armed criminal group" that authorities say are occupying villages in Mimika regency, where Freeport's Grasberg mine is located, and demand that the rebels surrender their weapons and turn themselves in.
Freeport spokesman Pratama said he had received no reports of kidnapped employees. Papua Police chief Boy Rafli Amar told local media on Sunday that "there were reports that an employee of PT Freeport has been kidnapped by the armed criminal group."
Pratama said police reports that a Freeport excavator had been used by the group to dig up a road to Banti, one of the villages authorities said was occupied by the rebel group, were also unconfirmed.
About 200 officers were standing by to secure the area by force if necessary, police officials said.
Papua has had a long-running, and sometimes violent, separatist movement since the province was incorporated into Indonesia after a widely criticised 1969 UN-backed referendum.
Foreign journalists have in the past required special permission to report in Papua, and once there, have had security forces restrict their movement and work.
President Joko Widodo has pledged to make the region more accessible to foreign media by inviting reporters on government-sponsored trips, although coverage remains difficult.

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