Wednesday, December 5, 2018

1) Editorial Papua, land of violence

Note. A selection of  articles on the shootings in West Papua which has gone a bit viral in the main stream media. A lot about this incident is unclear including the number of killed which various between 19 and 31.
Although most articles state that those killed were construction workers it  it has been reported that up to 400 Army Engineers have been used in the construction of the road particularly in areas of difficult terrain.

With the security forces  preparing to undertake a military operation to find those responsible,   AWPA is  concerned that local villagers in the area could suffer from attacks by the security forces during any military operations that takes place. In the past the military have burned homes and destroyed food gardens causing the local people to flee in fear to the bush. In July 2018 a military operation took place in the same area causing large numbers of local people to flee the area. 

1) Editorial Papua, land of violence
2) Cammi interviewed on  shootings in West Papua.
3) Komnas HAM demands transparency on Papua massacre
4) Mily, police joint team to evacuate rebel attack victims
5) TNI Deploy More Personnel to Evacuate Victims of Papua Killings
6) Authorities to Evacuate Papua Shooting Victims Today
7) West Papua Liberation Army claims responsibility for mass killing 
8) Indonesian soldier killed in separatist attack in Papua
9) Police Chief: Papuan Armed Group used Stolen Firearms
10) Jokowi Mourns Death of Papua`s Heroes of Development
11) Govt, House to Discuss Term for Killer of Papua Workers
12) Killings in Nduga, KontraS: Circle of Violence in Papua

1) Editorial Papua, land of violence
Editorial Board The Jakarta Post Jakarta | Wed, December 5, 2018 | 08:26 am
Several quarters have persistently been calling for dialogue between the government and representatives of Papuan people, including resistance groups, to end the violence in the natural resource-rich province once and for all and turn it into a land of peace. Such a noble vision, however, has remained elusive, not only because of the lukewarm responses from past and current governments, but also because of the sporadic acts of violence that only beget more violence and, hence, a cycle of revenge that nobody knows how to stop. The latest report of the killing of at least 24 workers of state construction company PT Istaka Karya in the highland regency of Nduga shows Jakarta has not completely won the hearts and minds of Papuans, despite the many initiatives the government has undertaken, especially during the administration of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.
Jokowi has translated his attention to Papua into massive infrastructure development in the region, particularly a trans-Papua road to free remote villages from decades-long isolation. He has also implemented a one-price fuel policy that is meant to bring some economic equality to Papua and West Papua and he visits the region frequently.
The attack on workers constructing bridges for the trans-Papua road by members of a West Papua National Liberation Army faction led by Egianus Kogoya on Sunday, according to police, is expected to undermine the government’s new approach and its hard work. This approach would take years to bear fruit, but in the meantime it proves the commitment of the government to help the once forgotten Papua close its gap with other parts of the country. 
Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said the construction of 35 bridges on the 278-kilometer road that is to connect Wamena and Mamugu would be suspended indefinitely following the incident, which was reportedly triggered by a worker who photographed a group of people gathering to commemorate the struggle for Papuan independence on Saturday.
A joint police and military operation has been launched to hunt down the armed group responsible for the killings, probably the deadliest by such a group in Papua so far. This is exactly where the government needs to exercise caution because in the past security measures against alleged Papuan separatist group members were prone to human rights abuses. There have been allegations, sometimes proven, of atrocities against civilians accused of abetting the separatists. Such reports have arisen in part because Papua is practically closed to the outside world, despite President Jokowi’s policy to open it up.
Use of violence is not the answer to the violence. Now that the police are holding a group responsible for the Sunday killings, the government must focus on law enforcement rather than on authorizing a security operation over which the public can hardly demand accountability. With the transfer of special autonomy funds to Papua ending in 2021, security problems may escalate. A dialogue to comprehensively address the Papuan paradox — which suffers poverty, illiteracy and injustice despite its rich natural resources — therefore remains the best solution to creating lasting peace.

2) Cammi interviewed on  shootings in West Papua. 

Cammi Webb-Gannon interviewed by The Australian Broadcasting Corporation 


3) Komnas HAM demands transparency on Papua massacre

Jakarta | Wed, December 5, 2018 | 07:43 pm

 Mobile Brigade officers head from Wamena to Nduga, where 19 construction workers are believed to have been shot dead, on Tuesday. Authorities are investigating reports that the construction workers were shot dead by separatist rebels in the restive province of Papua. (AFP/Anyong)

The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) has urged the National Police, the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the government to be transparent in investigating the mass killing of construction workers in Nduga regency, Papua.
A rebel group led by Egianus Kogoya allegedly massacred 19 workers hired by state-owned construction firm Istaka Karya to work on the trans-Papua road project in Yigi district, authorities said.
The group, believed to be a faction of the National Liberation Army of West Papua (TPNPB), also killed a TNI member and injured another on the following day.
Commission chairman Ahmad Taufan Damanik said that whoever was behind such “brutal and inhumane” actions could not be tolerated. He said the government should pay more attention to this case, because killings in Papua had happened repeatedly.
“We ask the law enforcement authorities to immediately arrest and process the suspects. We ask for the case to be as transparent as possible,” Damanik said at his office on Wednesday.
He added that the background of killings in Papua often remained unclear.
The commission also requested that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo ensure the protection of witnesses and guarantee that costs for the physical and non-physical recovery of victims and witnesses are covered.
“I also hope that the Witness and Victim Protection Agency can work together with the government to handle this matter,” he said. (ggq)
4) Mily, police joint team to evacuate rebel attack victims
Reporter: Antara  16 hours ago

Jayapura, Papua, (ANTARA News) - The military and police joint team is readied to evacuate victims of the armed Papuan rebel attack from the site in Yigi and the top of Mt Tabo in Nduga District, Papua Province, Cendrawasih Military Commander Maj Gen Joshua Sembiring said.

The evacuation will be started on Wednesday by deploying troops through land and air routes, Sembiring said when contacting from Jayapura on Wednesday.

"For the first stage, the team would evacuate victims around Yigi and Mt Tabo," he said, adding that he could not confirm the number of victims that would be evacuated.

Sembiring is currently in Wamena with Papua Police Chief Insp Gen Martuani Sormin.

Earlier on Tuesday, the joint team has evacuated 12 civilians from Mbua, four of them are workers of PT Istaka, who managed to flee and sought refuge in the Mbua military post. The military post was then attacked by the rebels and one soldier was killed in the attack.

The attack on Sunday (Dec 2) by the armed group killed 31 workers of PT Istaka Karya, who were engaged in construction and building the Trans Papua project.

Spokesman of the Papua Provincial Police Senior Commissioner A.M. Kamal remarked that an Indonesian soldier was also killed in an attack on a military post on Sunday. The confirmation on the death of the Indonesian soldier was received from four workers of PT Istaka Karya who survived the attack.

On Tuesday morning, 153 military and police personnel were transported to Mbua, which is the closest sub-district to Yigi Subdistrict, he remarked, adding that two of the four workers who survived the killing sustained shot wounds when they were found by the on-duty security personnel.

Reporting by Evarukdijati, Sri Haryati
Editing by Fardah A 
Editor: Sri Haryati


WEDNESDAY, 05 DECEMBER, 2018 | 11:50 WIB
5) TNI Deploy More Personnel to Evacuate Victims of Papua Killings

TEMPO.CO, Jayapura - The Military Regional Command (Kodam) XVII in Cendrawasih deployed one additional group from Infantry Battalion (Yonif) 751 VJS Sentani to strengthen the joint personnel assigned to Nduga, Papua following the killings against Istaka Karya workers.
“The military personnel are now in Wamena, departed from Sentani boarding Hercules aircraft,” Kodam XVII Cendrawasih Commander May. Gen. Joshua Sembiring told Antara today, December 5.
Earlier, as many as 169 joint personnel from Indonesian Military and National Police deployed to Nduga to evacuate the victims killed by an unknown armed group in Yigi District.
Other than personnel, four helicopters including one unit of MI and Bolco were deployed for the evacuation process. Joshua said the team was still evacuating workers and wounded personnel.
According to Joshua, the evacuation effort started from Kali Yigi area and around Mount Tabo, but the joint team hampered by the weather and geographical conditions. “We hope there is no significant constraint,” he added.
Previous reports recorded a total of 31 people at the Trans Papua construction site were allegedly killed by armed groups on late Sunday, December 2. During the killings, the workers were building bridges in Yigi River and Aurak River, Yigi District, Nduga Regency, Papua.

WEDNESDAY, 05 DECEMBER, 2018 | 11:58 WIB

6) Authorities to Evacuate Papua Shooting Victims Today

TEMPO/Maria Rita Hasugian
TEMPO.COJakarta - The Army said they and the police will evacuate victims of shooting by armed groups in Nduga District, Papua today. The law enforcement will evacuate the workers and employees of PT Istaka Karya and TNI members who are victims of the incident.
Commander of the XVII Cenderawasih Kodam Maj. Gen. Joshua Sembiring said the armed forces and the police will dispatch troops both on land and water, assisted by helicopters.
"For the initial phase, the troops will evacuate the victims around Yigi and Mount Tabo," Joshua told Antara on Wednesday, December 5. He said that he couldn’t tell for sure how many will be evacuated.

At present, said Joshua, he and the Papua Regional Police Chief Insp. Gen. Martuani Sormin are still in Wamena. He said the officers are racing against time as weather changes quickly in the evacuation site.
On Tuesday, December 4, joint forces of the army and police evacuated 12 civilians from Mbua. Four of them were employees of PT Istaka who managed to escape and were secured at the TNI Mbua Post. They were also attacked by same armed groups, leading to the death of a TNI member.
Thirty-one workers of the Trans Papua road project who were building bridges at Yigi River and Aurak River in Nduga Regency were allegedly killed by an armed group on Sunday night, December 2. The Papua Police suspect that 24 people were killed on the first day, while eight people tried to escape—seeking refuge in the home of a DPRD member. Seven of them were "picked up" and killed by the armed men, while one is still missing.


7) West Papua Liberation Army claims responsibility for mass killing 
Arnold Belau  The Jakarta Post

Jayapura | Thu, December 6, 2018 | 12:03 am

The West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) has claimed responsibility for the attacks that led to the death of 19 PT Istaka Karya construction workers and one Indonesian Military (TNI) soldier in Nduga regency, Papua. However, they claimed the workers were soldiers, not civilians.
“Yes, we conducted the operations in Kali Aworak, Kali Yigi, and at the Mbua TNI post, and we are ready to take responsibility. The attacks were led by Makodap III Ndugama commander Egianus Kogeya and operations commander Pemne Kogeya,” the spokesperson, Sebby Sanbom, said in a written statement on Wednesday.
Sebby denied, however, that the workers killed were civilians, claiming that they were members of the Indonesian Army Corps of Engineers. 
Sebby said they had observed the workers for three months and were sure they were soldiers from Zipur working as a solid unit. Zipur is short for Zeni Tempur, an army unit specializing in engineering and technical aspects of battle infrastructure.
“Our targets are not wrong, we know which are civilian workers and which are TNI Zipur members, even if they wear plain clothes,” he said.
He added that the Papuans had not asked for the trans-Papua road the workers had been assigned to work on.
“Through this attack, we are telling the colonialist country of Indonesia that we are not armed criminals but true fighters for the freedom of the Republic of West Papua,” he said. “We did not ask for the trans-Papua road or development. The solution to the problem of Papua is independence and sovereignty as a civilized nation.” (kmt)


8) Indonesian soldier killed in separatist attack in Papua

Published 06 DECEMBER, 2018 UPDATED 06 DECEMBER, 2018

JAKARTA - A soldier has been killed in Indonesia's eastern province of Papua where security forces are hunting for a separatist group suspected of killing at least 19 workers building a bridge, a military spokesman said on Wednesday.
The killing of the workers is one of the worst outbreaks of violence in years in Papua, home to a simmering separatist conflict since it was incorporated into Indonesia after a widely criticized U.N.-backed referendum in 1969. 
Colonel Muhammad Aidi said the number of workers killed in the attack had been revised down to 19 from 24, based on the latest accounts from four survivors.

The survivors were followed by separatist militants to a military post where a soldier was killed in a gunfight, Aidi said by telephone from Papua.

"The TNI (Indonesian military) post was attacked on Monday morning by a significant number of the armed group using military grade weapons, as well as spears and arrows," he said. 
Aidi said on Tuesday a construction worker who took a photograph of separatists celebrating what they consider their independence day appears to have sparked the killings.
Some Papuans regard Dec. 1 as their independence day from Dutch colonial rule and hold rallies or raise separatist flags banned by the Jakarta government.
The military arm of the separatist group, the Free Papua Movement (OPM), said on its Facebook page on Wednesday it viewed the workers as members of the military and casualties of a war against the Indonesian government.
Indonesia officials say the workers were civilians employed by state construction firm, PT Istaka Karya, which is building bridges for the Trans Papua highway.
Since coming to power in 2014, President Joko Widodo has pledged to hasten development and open up access to the resource-rich province, including the Trans Papua road project to link remote areas. 
Widodo said on Wednesday security for construction projects in Papua would be addressed by his government.
"The construction of the Trans Papua road needs to be continued and will never be stopped," he told reporters. 
While separatists have been blamed for carrying out attacks, Indonesia's human rights commission has also urged Widodo to end rights violations by security forces in Papua. REUTERS


9) Police Chief: Papuan Armed Group used Stolen Firearms

TEMPO.COJakarta - National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian revealed that the perpetrators behind the attack that killed dozens of Trans Papua workers managed to obtain firearms from security personnel. 
“First off, they usually get their firearms by stealing them from security personnel caught off-guard,” said Tito Karnavian at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, on December 5. 
Furthermore, Tito suspects that the armed group also collected their firearms from weapons that were used in the Ambon conflict and firearms that were brought into Papua illegally from the New Guinea border, which Indonesian authorities have foiled several times in the past.

“A large number of firearms were available at the time. The police’s mobile brigade warehouse was even ransacked,” he continued.
According to Tito Karnavian, police and national armed forces (TNI) joint team has been mobilized to capture the group responsible for killing dozens of Papuan construction workers. He suspects that the armed group is comprised of 30-50 people.
“We have a larger platoon mobilized there. We are positive that we will be able to control the situation,” said the National Police Chief.

10) Jokowi Mourns Death of Papua`s Heroes of Development

TEMPO.COJakarta - Standing at the Merdeka Palace press room, President Joko `Jokowi` Widodo said that the workers falling victim to a recent armed group attack in Papua are heroes of development. 
“Let us pray together for the heroes of development in the Trans Papua project, may their soul be at a heavenly place,” said President Jokowi today.
An attack on Sunday, December 2, reportedly killed 31 construction workers of PT Istaka Karya who were constructing a bridge at Nduga over the Yigi and Aurak rivers.
Moreover, the Ministry of Public Works and Housing have been ordered to continue with the 4,600 kilometers construction project, which will see the Trans Papua highway connect areas that were previously isolated. 

Following the attack, the president called for the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) Commander Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto and National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian to further investigate the tragedy and to arrest the group responsible for Papua shooting. 
“I have ordered the TNI Commander and National Police Chief to hunt and arrest all perpetrators of the heinous crime,” said President Jokowi.

11) Govt, House to Discuss Term for Killer of Papua Workers

TEMPO.COJakarta - The Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko said he had not found the right term for the group that killed the Istaka Karya workers in Nduga, Papua.
“The term will bring the implication on who does what. [So], we can yet to decide,” he said in Jakarta, Wednesday, December 5.
Moeldoko said the Istaka Karya incident was a major event occurred in the forest area. The perpetrators were equipped with weapons. “Don’t be forced to use the term of an armed criminal group,” he said.
According to Moeldoko, if the perpetrators only commit criminal acts, the police must deal with them. However, if it is called as an armed movement, only the TNI (Indonesian Military) can handle it, as based on the rules.
Moeldoko said that a discussion between the government and the house of representatives (DPR) must first be done before using a term. In the near future, there will be a political response. “A political decision is probably needed to determine the term,” he said.
The Deputy Chief of Information for the XVII/Cenderawasih Military District Command Lt. Col. Infantry Dax Sianturi suspected that the murderer of 31 Istaka Karya workers in Nduga, Papua, was an armed group led by Egianus Kogoya.
Until now, Dax Sianturi has not been able to ensure the number of victims due to the shooting by the armed group since the Military (TNI) and Police joint team had not arrived at the suspected location of the killing. “We cannot confirm before we get the authentic evidence,” he said.
The shooting of the Istaka Karya workers was suspected carried out by the armed group on December 2, at around 3:30 p.m. in Kali Yigi and Kali Aura in Yigi District, Nduga Regency, Papua.
12) Killings in Nduga, KontraS: Circle of Violence in Papua
TEMPO.COJakarta - The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence or KontraS strongly condemned the killing of dozens of civilians in Nduga, Papua.
“There is no reason to justify the violence and killing of civilians in the conflict in Papua,” KontraS Coordinator Yati Andriani said in a statement on Wednesday, December 5.
An armed group allegedly shot and killed 31 civilians, Istaka Karya workers who were building bridges in Kali Yigi and Kali Aurak, Yigi District, Nduga Regency, Papua on Sunday night, December 2. Before being killed, the victims were held hostage since Saturday afternoon. So far, there have been 24 people died.
According to Yati, the killing became an inseparable part of the chain and cycle of violence in Papua. She said that civilians were often the most vulnerable targets in any violence, either by the authorities or by pro-independence armed groups.
“So far, there has been no seriousness from the Government to continue the dialogue process and stop the security approach in dealing with conflict in Papua,” Yati said.
According to Yati, the killing incident also shows clearly that the approach to infrastructure development, which is the government ambitions in Papua, cannot necessarily restore the security situation and resolve violence in Papua. “Because the problems in Papua are not only limited to economic and development issues,” Yati said.
Yati called on the government and all parties involved in the conflict to stop the violence and attacks on civilians.
“And not targeting, let alone using violence against Papuan civilians who are often stigmatized as supporters of separatist groups,” Yati said.
According to Yati, such methods often occur in handling conflicts in Papua, which led to human rights violations and formed the chain of violence. The government, said Yati, needs to also carry out serious and comprehensive dialogue on various issues of political expression, poverty and injustice in Papua.

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