Tuesday, April 3, 2018

1) Villagers flee with Papua rebels after Indonesia attack

2) TNI on hunt for armed assailants after exchange of fire in Tembagapura
3) How BP got it right in Indonesia
1) Villagers flee with Papua rebels after Indonesia attack
Updated 3 hours 42 minutes ago
JAKARTA, INDONESIA-A commander of rebels in Indonesia's easternmost Papua region said Tuesday that as many as 100 villagers have taken shelter with them in a mountainous jungle following an Indonesian military attack.
The military and Papuan independence fighters have given starkly different accounts of the clashes that began Sunday near the U.S.-owned Grasberg copper and gold mine in the remote region. The number of combatants killed is at least two based on each side's statements.
A National Liberation Army of West Papua commander, Hendrik Wanmang, said indigenous Papuan villagers, mostly women and children, fled into the jungle after Indonesian soldiers set fire to their homes.
"Their condition is now safe in the jungle with us although they only eat whatever they find in the forest," he said.
The Indonesian military spokesman for the Papua region, Col. Muhammad Aidi, said a joint force of soldiers and police has freed six villages in the mountainous Tembagapura area from separatist control and accused the rebels of burning homes.
An insurgency has simmered in Papua since the early 1960s when Indonesia annexed the region that had remained under Dutch control following Indonesian independence nearly two decades earlier.
The giant gold and copper mine, owned by Freeport-McMoran Inc., is a lightning rod for Papuan grievances. Its rich mineral reserves have been shipped abroad for decades by the U.S. company and provided significant tax income for the Indonesian government. But indigenous Papuans have benefited little and are poorer, sicker and more likely to die young than people elsewhere in Indonesia.
Tembagapura, a district near the mine, was the scene of a standoff between the military and rebels in November when the military said rebels, which it refers to as an armed separatist criminal group, were holding hundreds of villagers hostage. That claim was denied by the liberation army. Villagers who were migrants from other parts of Indonesia left, but indigenous Papuans remained in the villages.
Aidi said drone observations showed the Indonesian force of 50 had killed two rebel fighters and injured dozens in the "shootout" Sunday.
The rebels "burned some houses before they fled," he said.
Wanmang said 28 soldiers and two of their local guides were killed in the fighting and a 10-year-old boy burned to death after his village was shelled by the military. Both sides deny most of the other's claims.
Wanmang admitted that rebels had earlier burned down a hospital and a school in the area. He said the hospital was owned by Freeport but did not help Papuans while the school was used by Indonesia to indoctrinate young Papuans.
"We have never and will not burn villagers' houses," he said. "We also strongly deny the TNI (Indonesian military) statement saying that they have managed to free the villages previously held hostage by us. It is not true, since those villages were our villages, our own homeland."

2) TNI on hunt for armed assailants after exchange of fire in Tembagapura
Nethy Dharma Somba The Jakarta Post
Jayapura, Papua | Tue, April 3, 2018 | 04:38 pm

Members of the Indonesian Military's (TNI) Cendrawasih Military Command XVII are hunting down an armed group of civilians in Tembagapura, Mimika regency, Papua, following an attack that claimed a soldier’s life.
“A group of soldiers are still in pursuit and also making inventory of the damage caused by the armed group. But all residents are safe and there were no civilian casualties, Cendrawasih Military Command spokesman Col. M. Aidi said in a statement on Tuesday.
A soldier, Private First Class Vicky Irad Uba Rumpaidus, was killed in a shooting exchange between the military and the group in Utikini village, Mimika, on Sunday. He died after allegedly being shot in his right temple.
The shootout also claimed lives and injured some of the armed assailants.
 “From drone monitoring, we saw that two members died and others were injured before escaping into the woods,” Aidi said.
Before the incident, the group allegedly ran amok by setting locals’ houses, a hospital and a school building on fire.
The group had allegedly taken control of several villages in Tembagapura district, namely Utikini, Longsoran, Kimbeli, Banti 1, Banti 2 and Opitawak, Aidi claimed, adding that the authorities feared that it was part of the group’s warning to the TNI and the police that it wanted an open fight.
To take back the villages, TNI had deployed groups of soldiers to targeted areas.
“They apparently have been ready to welcome security personnel, hence the shootout,” he said.
Attacks from armed assailants in the area were rampant last year, when assailants allegedly held 1,300 residents hostage in several villages while launching attacks against security personnel. (rin)

3) How BP got it right in Indonesia
British energy giant launches US$8 billion Tangguh gas project expansion as other multinationals come under nationalistic, regulatory and even insurgent fire
 JAKARTA, APRIL 3, 2018 4:49 PM (UTC+8)
Situated in the so-called Bird’s Head region at the western end of Papua, British oil company BP’s Tangguh liquefied natural gas (LNG) project has never generated the same controversy as that of US mining giant Freeport McMoran, its distant neighbor hundreds of kilometers to the east.
Tangguh has a far smaller footprint than Freeport’s Grasberg operation, the world’s largest gold and second largest copper mine, and is dealing with a more manageable resource. But BP decided from the launch of the project 14 years ago that it needed to avoid many of Freeport’s historic mistakes.
Apart from bringing in an independent monitoring team, BP has succeeded in keeping the police and army at a distance and generally established an atmosphere of trust with the local indigenous community in a region free of separatist rebels.

More than 50% of BP’s 980-strong staff is already Papuan, a significantly higher percentage than at Freeport, and the firm’s three-year apprenticeship program is designed to increase that number to 85% by 2029.
New security and social challenges lie ahead, however, as BP embarks on a US$8 billion expansion on the shores of remote Bintuni Bay that will increase production from 7.6 to 11.4 million tons per year, 75% of the third LNG production train’s output destined for the domestic market.

The expansion, involving two new offshore platforms, 13 production wells and an expanded LNG loading facility, will enable Indonesia to meet projected annual demand of 12 million tons by 2020, with some of the LNG being supplied to small power plants around Papua and other parts of eastern Indonesia.
It will also go some way towards restoring confidence in the gas sector after the government compelled joint-venture partners Inpex and Shell to build an onshore rather than an offshore terminal for its Masela block in the Arafura Sea, 900 kilometers south of Tangguh.
Progress on that US$15 billion project appears to have stalled, despite the government urging the two companies to complete a preliminary engineering design by this month to exploit a field with proven and possible reserves of 40 trillion cubic feet of LNG.
Indonesia’s second biggest LNG plant after East Kalimantan’s eight-train Bontang facility, Tangguh draws on proven reserves of 17 trillion cubic feet – a field BP shares with the China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), Mitsubishi and four other Japanese companies.
It has delivered 900 LNG cargoes to customers in South Korea, China, Japan and Mexico since it first went into production in 2009. In recent years, it has also supplied state power utility Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) and Nusantara Regas, which operates a floating re-gasification terminal in Jakarta Bay.

Former US South Dakota senator Tom Daschle, head of the Tangguh Independent Advisory Panel, calls the current expansion a critical time in the project’s development, saying it presents “additional complexities at a time of a greater terrorist threat.”
Wary of human rights issues, the panel advises against any closer cooperation with the army and police, instead suggesting more training for the firm’s all-Papuan security force and upgrading its equipment from simple batons to non-lethal pepper gel guns, pepper spray, rubber bullets and stun guns.
The panel’s latest recommendations also include strengthening Tangguh’s perimeter fence and increased use of CCTV, radar, drones and patrol boats as BP ramps up its labor force to more than 7,000 to work on the three-year expansion now being undertaken by Italian oil and gas contractor Saipem.
“Rapid response procedures for high-level threat scenarios should be clearly distinguishable from procedures used for fire, explosion or other safety emergency,” Daschle and his team said in its report handed to BP last month.
Although BP’s process control network is already disconnected from the Internet, it has also introduced procedures to guard against the increasing danger of cyberattacks and global hacking.

Security is not BP’s only concern. Relations with local authorities have become more complicated with the euphoria over autonomy and financial decentralization measures leading to an explosion of new sub-districts and villages across West Papua and in neighboring Papua province.
For example, increasing the number of sub-districts in Teluk Bintuni regency from 24 to 28 over the past year has seen the 14 villages in Tangguh’s project area suddenly divided into 37 — including one kampung with a headman and only one other person.
It is not immediately clear how this will affect distribution of the country’s nationwide Village Fund, under which 60 trillion rupiah (US$4.5 billion) is shared among 75,000 rural villages, or what amounts to about 50% of the total population.
Apart from a lack of progress on a government plan for a Tangguh-related industrial zone, BP is struggling to interest state utility PLN in building a grid for the 200 million cubic feet of gas it has allotted to provide power to 50,000 households — more than the regency’s entire population.
BP executives and local officials hope they can get the central government to weigh in on the electrification issue, but they say there is a more immediate need for PLN to assist in expanding the use of solar and diesel generation in Babo, the site of a small airport, and other nearby villages.

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