Tuesday, April 2, 2019

1) 32,000 people flee violence in Papua - rights group

2) Military operations in Nduga violate human rights: Report
3) Papua Prepares for 2020 National Sports Week


1) 32,000 people flee violence in Papua - rights group
2:57 pm today 

A human rights group has reported that tens of thousands of people in Indonesia's Papua province have been displaced by conflict.

West Papua Liberation Army unit, led by Egianus Kogoya. Derakma, Nduga regency, Papua. March 2019 Photo: Supplied

The estimate is the gravest yet in an months-long war between security forces and rebel fighters in Papua.
The group, Front Line Defenders, claims more than 32,000 people have been forced to flee the central highlands regency of Nduga due to military operations.
Rights advocates with the group reported that some civilians had died in refugee camps, where conditions are poor and people lack food and water.
They allege Indonesian security forces shot dead two school children, damaged 34 schools and likely dropped bombs using helicopters in Nduga.
The military, which has been hunting rebel group the West Papua Liberation Army since December, has denied the use of bombs.
Front Line Defenders plan to submit their findings to Indonesia's human rights commission.
Indonesia's military has rubbished the reports that thousands have been displaced by the conflict.
A spokesperson for the military, Colonel Mohammed Aidi, said there is no population data for Nduga, implying the information is impossible to verify.
He said security forces have only provided safeguards and social assistance for members of the public.
Since January, Colonel Aidi said six soldiers have died in gunfire exchanges with rebels who have instigated attacks.
He also denied claims dozens of school buildings in Nduga had been damaged by soldiers.


2) Military operations in Nduga violate human rights: Report

Ivany Atina Arbi The Jakarta Post
 Jakarta   /   Wed, April 3, 2019   /   10:12 am

Military operations conducted by the Indonesian Military (TNI) in Nduga regency, Papua, in the past few months have led to various human rights violations, a recent investigation initiated by the Nduga administration has alleged, allegations that the TNI has denied.
According to the investigation report, TNI personnel allegedly destroyed and burned down residents’ houses--forcing thousands of people to leave their homes for safety. The personnel are in Nduga in search of the West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) fighters who killed 19 workers of state-owned construction firm PT Istaka Karya in December.
Tens of thousands of the fleeing residents currently live in neighboring districts without access to sufficient food, education or health services. Around 4,238 residents have fled to Kagayem district, 5,021 people to Yal district, 5,056 to Jigi district and 4,001 persons to Inikgal district.
Hundreds of others have decided to take refuge in the forests, spending nights “between life and death,” the report claims.
“At least nine mothers have given birth in the forests without proper medical treatment, risking their lives,” it says.
TNI personnel have also reportedly shut down and destroyed at least 34 churches during their operations in the conflict-ridden regency. SION GKI Mapenduma church has even been used by the TNI as a headquarters.
Residents alleged the TNI has killed at least 25 people, including two students, who were not connected to separatist rebels.
“Nduga residents now live in fear and trauma. They have lost everything during the military operations,” said an investigator, Theo Hesegem. He urged the government to withdraw the TNI from Nduga and instead adopt a soft approach through dialogue.
Similar opinions were expressed by local clergymen Erson Wenda and Esmond Walilo and Catholic priest John Jonga. The three figures expressed hopes that residents could go back to their villages and rebuild their homes and other public facilities soon.
“We have seen numerous military operations and human rights violations since 1969, and it seems that we are far from the finish line,” John said, adding that the key to stopping the clashes was the government’s willingness to arrange a sincere dialogue with the Free Papua Movement.
“Since the leadership of former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, we have been fed with false promises of a peaceful dialogue, but this never comes true,” Erson said.
They were addressing a press conference facilitated by Amnesty International Indonesia in Jakarta recently.
Usman Hamid, director of Amnesty International Indonesia, urged the government to immediately address the problem in Nduga, especially survivors struggling in evacuation sites.
“The government must take necessary action immediately,” he emphasized, adding that the government should also ensure punishment of any military personnel proven to be involved in human rights violations in the region.
Papua military spokesman Col. Muhammad Aidi told The Jakarta Post that the report alleging that military personnel had destroyed houses and churches was a "hoax.”
“We, the TNI, are committed to the Geneva Convention [against torture, other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment]. So, it is inconceivable that we would destroy a place of worship,” Aidi said, adding that the investigation was carried out by groups who sided with the Free Papua Movement.


3) Papua Prepares for 2020 National Sports Week 
APRIL 02, 2019 
Jakarta. Papua is getting ready to host the 2020 National Sports Week, despite severe flooding that hit the provincial capital, Jayapura, last month, killing more than 110 people and causing major damage in several parts of the city.
During a visit to the country's easternmost province on Monday, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo observed preparations for the multisports event.
"This is only to check on the preparations for 2020 National Sports Week. The host will be Papua," Jokowi said at Papua Bangkit Stadium in Sentani district.
The stadium, which is still under construction, will be the main venue for the national event. Jokowi said he expected the construction to be completed by May this year.
According to the president, the stadium construction is funded from the regional budget, while funding for other infrastructure being built for the event will come from the state budget.
Papua Bangkit Stadium, which is currently nearing completion, will cost Rp 1.3 trillion ($91 million). With a seating capacity of 40,000, it will be the largest in eastern Indonesia. The stadium meets FIFA standards for its football field and it has an additional field for training purposes.
"All of it [Papua Bangkit Stadium] will be funded from the regional budget. The aquatic arena from the state budget and the same goes for the sports complex. So it's a mix. But look at the quality," Jokowi said.
Football and Athletics
As it will be the first time Papua hosts the country's biggest national sports event, the province hopes to win some medals in the various competitions.
Therefore, Governor Lukas Enembe told the president that he wants to establish Papua as "the province of football and athletics."
Jokowi expressed support for the idea and asked the governor to maintain his focus on those sports.
"That's it. Let's focus on those two," the president said, as quoted in a media statement issued by the State Secretariat.
In the previous National Sports Week, which took place in Bandung, West Java, in 2016, saw the host province winning most of the gold medals.

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