Wednesday, July 31, 2019

1) Refugees Nduga refused the assistance of the Ministry of Social Affairs

2) Garuda Indonesia recruits first female pilots from Papua

3) Indonesian Military forms ‘super elite unit’ to crack down on terrorism

A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
Original bahasa link at
1) Refugees Nduga refused the assistance of the Ministry of Social Affairs
Reporter: Victor Mambor
Jubi July 30, 2019 8:16 pm
A mother at the location of the refugee community in Nduga was giving milk to her child - Jubi / Albertus Vembri
Papua No. 1 News Portal | Jubi
Jayapura, Jubi - Refugees Nduga refused assistance provided by the Ministry of Social Affairs (Ministry of Social Affairs). This refusal was carried out by refugees in Weneroma, Jayawijaya after learning that the coordination meeting in the distribution of aid was carried out in Makodim Jayawijaya.
This refusal, according to the head of the Papua Mountains Central Law and Human Rights Advocacy Network, Theo Hesegem, was carried out through an open meeting attended by the community, church leaders and traditional leaders on Monday (7/29/2019).
"The aid will be brought to Wamena after the media reported the condition of the Nduga refugees. If that is the ministry's assistance, it should be handed over by government representatives to direct refugees. But the reality is not the case, "said Hesegem, Tuesday (07/30/2019).
According to Hesegem, the refugees after learning of a coordination meeting in Makodim Jayawijaya, immediately held a meeting. When the Ministry of Social Affairs delegation came to the location of the refugees in Weneroma, the refugees had decided to reject the assistance. The reasons for the refugees were also clearly stated. Refugees cannot receive assistance if the distribution involves security forces besides being traumatized because of the beliefs of the refugees.

                                     Letter of denial of assistance from the Ministry of Social Affairs - Jubi / IST

The coordinator of the Kingmi Synod in Jayawijaya, Rev. Desmon Walilo explained that people in the mountains believe that if they receive help or eat food from people who are considered "enemies" then their bodies will be weak, sick and die.

"These refugees will go from their villages because there are military operations or security operations carried out by members of the TNI or Polri, so they will reject any assistance involving the TNI or Polri," Reverend Walilo said.

In addition, according to Reverend Walilo, the coordination meeting conducted from 10:00 to 15:00 local time aroused suspicion of the refugees. Because the Director General of Social Protection and Security of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Harry Hikmat told the church that accompanied the refugees he would only stop by for a while in Makodim for coordination.

"In the sense of the community, for a little more than an hour. But in reality for hours so people are suspicious. Most people have also returned home when the Ministry of Social Affairs group arrived at the evacuation site, "said Pastor Walilo.

In a letter of refusal received by the editorial staff of Jubi, refugees N also refused to accept the assistance with four reasons, namely: 1) President Joko Widodo had to withdraw organic troops from Nduga so that the refugees could return to their respective villages for activities; 2) For eight months the country was more concerned with military operations than the fate of refugees; 3) 139 people have died of starvation, illness and being shot; 4) Until the eighth month, there is no clear place for refugees.

Harry Hikmat during a coordination meeting related to Nduga refugees together with Dandim 1702 / Jayawijaya, Chief of Police, Nduga District Government, Jayawijaya Government, Papua Provincial Social Service, Monday in Makodim Jayawijaya said that the experience of TNI and Polri in distributing aid could facilitate the provincial and district social services in channel assistance.

However, he acknowledged that when aid was channeled using the resources of the security apparatus, in this case the TNI had a rejection from the community which prevented the distribution of aid.

"But we will try to keep channeling and going to talk with community leaders how the aid will arrive. It takes understanding with each other so that this humanitarian action can work and be optimal, "said Harry.

Harry also ensured that after the first phase of assistance worth Rp. 2 billion in the form of logistics and GBP rice was distributed, the second phase of assistance was ready to be channeled again to the Nduga refugees. Phase I has been distributed in January 2019. Phase II packages for school supplies, children's play, learning for children, sports and equipment for vulnerable groups such as the elderly and special needs have been prepared. And stage III in the form of regular rice and additional food and logistics packages.

"For the whole, stage II and III assistance in the position already exists in the social service logistics warehouse Nduga in Wamena," said Harry. (*)

2) Garuda Indonesia recruits first female pilots from Papua

Jakarta  /  Wed, July 31, 2019  /  05:03 pm
National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia announced on Wednesday that it had recruited two female pilots from Papua.
According to a statement received by The Jakarta Post, Vanda Astri Korisano and Martha Itaar are part of the first batch of a pilot recruitment program from Papua. Both graduated from Nelson Aviation College in New Zealand and have earned their pilot's license from the Indonesian Civil Aviation Directorate General (DGCA).

Vanda is set to undergo training at the Garuda Indonesia Training Center (GITC) in early August to obtain a Boeing 737-800 NG rating. Meanwhile, Martha will go through a training program at Citilink Indonesia prior to joining the low-cost subsidiary of Garuda Indonesia. 

Garuda Indonesia president director Ari Askhara said the pilot recruitment program was part of the airline's commitment to offering opportunities to outstanding talent from across the archipelago.
Ari is hopeful that more skilled pilots from Papua would follow in the footsteps of Martha and Vanda.
Additionally, the carrier will also provide opportunities for Indonesians from all backgrounds to join the company as cabin crew or ground staff. (jes/kes)


3) Indonesian Military forms ‘super elite unit’ to crack down on terrorism

News Desk The Jakarta Post
Jakarta   /   Tue, July 30, 2019   /  07:50 pm
The Indonesian Military (TNI) is expected to play a bigger role in the country's war on terror with the establishment of a "super elite unit" for deploying in national security emergencies, including terror attacks.
The newly established Special Operations Command (Koopssus) comprises 400 personnel from the crème de la crème of the military's special forces: the 81 Special Detachment (Gultor) of the Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus), the Jalamangkara Detachment (Denjaka) of the Navy’s Marine Corps, and the Bravo 90 Detachment (Denbravo) of the Air Force’s Special Forces Corps (Korpaskhas).
The Koopssus is under the command of Brig. Gen. Rochadi, who was appointed to the new role from his previous position as the director of the TNI’s Strategic Intelligence Agency (BAIS).
Expected to be highly agile, the Koopssus is to conduct special operations in Indonesia and abroad to protect national security interests.
TNI chief Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto said the super elite unit had three counterterrorism functions – deterrence, action and recovery – and that the Koopssus' primary role was to provide surveillance in its deterrence function.
“About 80 percent of [the unit's] operations will be in surveillance,” Hadi said on Tuesday during the unit’s inauguration ceremony at TNI headquarters.
He added that 100 Koopssus personnel could be deployed to fight terrorist groups if needed, and stressed that the TNI would coordinate with the National Police and the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) on its missions.
Hadi continued that the special unit would be able to conduct overseas missions, Last year, he cited 1981’s Operation Woyla as an example of a situation in which the Koopssus could be mobilized.
Operation Woyla was launched when a Garuda Indonesia flight was hijacked and forced to land in Bangkok under the Komando Jihad terrorist uprising of Indonesia’s Darul Islam armed rebel group. Indonesian special forces personnel stormed the plane and freed most of the passengers and crew.
Forming the Koopssus is deemed relevant in view of the increasing terror threat in the region, particularly in the southern Phillipines where several Indonesian nationals have been kidnapped by militants of the Islamic State-linked Abu Sayyaf group.
In 2016, the TNI said it was ready to provide operational support to the Philippine military against the Abu Sayyaf militants who had hijacked two Indonesian vessels and kidnapped 10 Indonesian crewmen.
The idea to establish the special unit was proposed in 2015 by then-TNI chief Gen. Moeldoko, and shut down by his successor Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo before it was revived last year when the House of Representatives (DPR) passed a revision to the 2003 Antiterrorism Law.
The revision grants greater powers to the police, and particularly the military, to combat terrorist groups. It also mandates the formation of the Koopssus.
The TNI's greater involvement in the war on terror has further strengthened growing perceptions that the current administration is paving the way for greater military involvement in civilian affairs.
The National Police (Polri) have been the sole security agency tasked with maintaining public order and internal security following the 1998 Reform movement. Many tasks that were previously under the military's purview were transferred to Polri when it was separated from the Indonesian Armed Forces (ABRI), the precursor of the TNI.
While Polri has achieved several successes with its Densus 88 antiterror squad, especially in urban environments, its Mobile Brigade (Brimob) paramilitary unit has found it difficult to suppress terrorist and separatist activities in non-urban settings, particularly in operations that require "jungle warfare" tactics.
The police have called for military reinforcement in such operations, such as when it formed a joint task force to quell the Eastern Indonesia Mujahidi (MIT) terror group led by Santoso in Poso, Central Sulawesi. The task force failed to apprehend Santoso through several iterations of Operation Camar Maleo, and it was only in 2016 that Santoso was killed during Operation Tinombala.
The 2004 TNI Law stipulates counterterrorism as one of the 14 military operations other than war (MOOTW) that the TNI may conduct in addition to its main duty to protect the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Hadi said the TNI had submitted a proposal to the House to request Rp1.5 trillion [US$106.9 million] in state budget funding. The proposed budget is to be used for developing infrastructure and procuring equipment for the new unit.
Benny Mamoto of the University of Indonesia's Research Center for Police Science and Terrorism Studies said that deploying a special joint force was necessary to combat non-traditional threats to national security.
However, he urged that a comprehensive standard operating procedure (SOP) be developed to clearly define the authority and jurisdiction of the military and the police in counterterrorism.
President Joko Widodo has yet to issue a presidential regulation on the Koopssus’ operations.
“The special [Koopssus] unit could play a vital role, depending on the magnitude of the situation,” he said, citing hijacking and major hostage situations as among those that would legally warrant the involvement of the Koopssus.
Human rights groups, however, have voiced concern over the Koopssus, saying that the military unit's involvement in counterterrorism – the traditional domain of civilian security forces – could potentially curtail civil liberties.
National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) commissioner Amirudin Al Rahab called for “specific and clear” rules of Koopssus engagement.
“Once the presidential regulation (Perpres) on Koopssus operations has been [drafted], Komnas HAM will review it and offer recommendations on preventive measures to mitigate any potential human rights violations,” Amirudin said.
TNI spokesman Maj. Gen. Sisriadi Iskandar said that the military would continue to refer to Article 7 of the 2004 TNI Law as the legal basis for its counterterrorism operations while it awaited the Perpres that would detail its operational procedures.
“The Koopssus should be deployed [specifically] in accordance with individual security threats to the nation," he said, adding that while the unit would generally stand by for a call for reinforcements from the National Police, in certain circumstances "we can act directly without prior request". (asp)

Monday, July 29, 2019

Congratulations to the people of Vanuatu on their 39 years of Independence.

Vanuatu Independence Day-July 30, 1980

Congratulations to the people of Vanuatu on their 39 years of Independence.

Vanuatu is a great supporter of West Papua

1) TNI says Papua Liberation Army's Mugi headquarters seized

1) TNI says Papua Liberation Army's Mugi headquarters seized

2) Pacific Forum to keep on West Papua case


1) TNI says Papua Liberation Army's Mugi headquarters seized
6:53 pm today 

Indonesia's military, or TNI, says its soldiers have taken control of an regional headquarters of the West Papua Liberation Army in Papua's Highlands.
Armed conflict between the Liberation Army and the TNI since late last year has left dozens dead in Nduga regency.
Thousands of villagers have also been displaced from the regency due to the conflict.

A TNI spokesman, Muhammad Aidi, said in recent days TNI forces succeeded in taking control of the Liberation Army headquarters in Mugi District of Nduga.
An array of weapons and ammunition was seized in the process.
Antara reported Colonel Aidi saying the security situation in the regency is increasingly conducive, although troops have been urged to remain alert for further attacks by the rebels.
The Liberation Army's guerilla fighters led by Egianus Kogoya shot and killed a TNI officer just over a week ago.

2) Pacific Forum to keep on West Papua case

4:01 pm today 

Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers have agreed that alleged human rights violations in West Papua must remain on the agenda of the regional body.
Foreign ministers wrapped up their meeting in Suva at the weekend, laying out the agenda for next month's Forum leaders' summit in Tuvalu.
Discussing the Forum's position on Papua, the foreign ministers acknowledged the reported escalation in violence and continued allegations of human rights abuses in the Indonesian-administered region.
This comes amid ongoing armed conflict between the West Papua Liberation Army and Indonesia's military in Papua's central Highlands.
The ministers called on all parties to work to address the root causes of the conflict by peaceful means.
They agreed to re-emphasise and reinforce the Forum's position of raising its concerns over ongoing violence and abuses in Papua, a position taken in 2016 by Forum leaders.
While the ministers said they seek open and constructive dialogue with Indonesia on these issues, some Forum governments remain frustrated that earlier requests for Jakarta to allow a Forum fact-finding team in to Papua came to nothing.
Meanwhile, the Forum ministers said they welcomed an invitation by Indonesia for a team from the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit West Papua.
Near the start of the year, the office of the commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, confirmed that Indonesia had, in principle, agreed to grant her office access to Papua.
However, Ms Bachelet's predecessor in the role, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, last year voiced concern that an earlier Indonesian government invitation for the office to visit Papua had not been honoured.
The Forum foreign ministers "strongly encouraged both sides to finalise the timing of the visit and make every endeavour to provide a report on the situation before the next Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting in 2020”

Sunday, July 28, 2019

1) Military patrol finds marijuana trees on Indonesia-PNG border

     2)  A researcher highlights an importance of preserving koteka     

1) Military patrol finds marijuana trees on Indonesia-PNG border
13 hours ago

Battalion 126 / KC Patrol found marijuana trees around Banda village, Keerom District, Indonesia-PNG border, Saturday (July 27). (Yonif Doc. 126 KC)            

Jayapura (ANTARA) - Patrol of the Battalion 126 / KC security task force has found a marijuana trees planted in a border area between the Indonesian province of Papua's Banda village, Waris Sub-district, Keerom District, and Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Commander of the battalion Lieutenant Colonel Infantry Mulyo Junaidi told ANTARA in Jayapura on Sunday that a routine patrol carried out by its members on Saturday (July 27) found six marijuana trees and a package containing dried marijuana which was allegedly not taken by the owner.

Initially members of the patro found a package containing dried marijuana while resting on the edge in the middle of the forest.

Shortly after finding a package containing dried marijuana, a group led by Chief Sergeant Ruslan Simamora conducted sweeping around a hut and found a cannabis tree as high as around 20-60 cm.

"Patrol members were able to go back to sweeping, but did not find the marijuana tree so they returned to the post carrying six cannabis trees and one package of dried marijuana," Mulyo said, adding that the discovery of the cannabis tree estimated that there were plants on the mountain.

The Indonesia-PNG border with hilly terrain and wilderness is used as a group of people to harvest marijuana trees which are then sold to Jayapura (capital of Papua Province) and surrounding areas.

Reporter: Evarukdijati/Eliswan Azly
Editor: Bambang Purwanto

         2)  A researcher highlights an importance of preserving koteka     
11 hours ago

Jayapura (ANTARA) - The Papua Archaeological Center's researcher, Hari Suroto, highlighted the importance of teaching "koteka" (penis gourd) at schools in the central mountainous region of Papua Province as one of the ways to preserve the cultural heritage of indigenous Papuans.

"One way to preserve koteka is teaching it at schools ranging from elementary to middle levels in the central mountainous region of Papua," Suroso said in Jayapura on Sunday.

Koteka is made of water pumpkin skin, Lagenaria siceraria. The contents and old pumpkin seeds are removed and the skin is dried. Literally, this word means "clothing" which derived from of the native language of one of the tribes in Paniai.

The central mountainous region of Papua covers ten districts namely Jayawijaya, Puncak Jaya, Pegunungan Bintang, Tolikara, Yahukimo, Nduga, Yalimo, Lani Jaya, Mamberamo Tengah, and Puncak.

Suroso said, koteka can be included as local content teaching materials at schools in the central mountainous region of Papua. To support this effort, it is necessary to develop a curriculum for the local content of Koteka.

"By teaching it to the younger generation, it is hoped that this cultural heritage will not disappear because the number of koteka users in Papua is decreasing," he said.

Despite the fact that the use of koteka as traditional clothing has diminished, many tribes in the central mountains of Papua still plant water pumpkin (Lagenaria siceraria) as raw materials for making koteka.

"This pumpkin is still planted by the tribes of Dani t, Mee, Amungme , Lani, Yali and Mek ," he said.

Not all members of young generation in the central mountains of Papua today still use koteka. They do not even know that it is inherited from their ancestors.

Suroso said, in the future, it is feared that pumpkin will only be regarded as a vegetable for consumption and medicine for typhoid or a sore throat, while koteka is sold as a souvenir. Concrete steps are needed to preserve koteka by teaching it at schools.
Reporter: Musa Abubar/Eliswan Azly
Editor: Rahmad Nasution

Saturday, July 27, 2019

1) Military helicopter still missing in Papua

2) UK Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn sends statement of congratulations to ULMWP Chairman

1) Military helicopter still missing in Papua
5 hours ago

We have reported to the Chief of Staff of the Army about what we have done to find the helicopters. And we have asked for advice as the search operation has been carried out for one month

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Army helicopter MI 17 that had lost contact on June 28, 2019, remains missing despite the continuous search efforts, Commander of the Cenderawasih Military Command XVII Major General Yoshua Sembiring has said. "We have reported to the Chief of Staff of the Army about what we have done to find the helicopters. And we have asked for advice as the search operation has been carried out for one month," Sembiring told Antara here Saturday.

A rigorous search operation has been conducted and a post command has been established in the Silar Papare Air Force Base in Sentari, Papua.

The location where the helicopter is suspected to have crashed is covered by thick forest, making search efforts extremely difficult.

On land, the search is being conducted with the assistance of local inhabitants, and in the air by civilian aircraft flying over Bintang mountainous area, he explained.

Since the day the MI 17 helicopter disappeared from the radar, there have been consistent efforts to locate it with the help of a Bell Helicopter 206 and Bell Helicopter 412 bearing registration number HA-5177.

The search operation will continue until the helicopter is located, or until an order is issued to discontinue the search, he remarked.

The MI-17 helicopter took off from Oksibil Airport at 11:44 a.m. local time on June 28, and at 11:48 a.m. contacted the airport's air traffic control (ATC) to report that it would ascend to 7,800 feet, six nautical miles toward the north. The pilot then said "thank you" at 11:49 a.m., and thereafter all contact between him and the ATC was lost.

The MI-17 helicopter, bearing registration number HA-5138, was carrying 12 passengers and crew members onboard, who had earlier flown to Okbibab to deliver logistics to soldiers serving in the area.

The crew members were pilots CPN Captain Aris and CPN Lieutenant Bambang, co-pilot First Lieutenant CPN Ahwar, Head Sergeant Suriyatna, Sergeant Dita, Head Private Dwi Purnomo, and Private Aharul.

The passengers, who were members of the Battalion 725/WRG, comprised Second Sergeant Ikrar Setya Nainggolan, Private Yanuarius Loe, Private Risno, Second Private Sujono Kaimuddin, and Second Private Tegar Hadi Sentana.
Related news: Search for MI 17 helicopter by land and air still produces no result
Related news: Regional military chief leads search for MI 17


Reporter: Evarukdijati, Fardah
Editor: Suharto


2) UK Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn sends statement of congratulations to ULMWP Chairman

July 26, 2019 in Statement

On 17th July 2019, ULMWP Chairman Benny Wenda was granted Freedom of the City of Oxford as a messenger of the West Papuan people, an award reflective of his lifetime of campaigning to amplify the calls of the West Papuan people for self-determination. Among the statements sent to Oxford City Council expressing their solidarity with Benny Wenda was one from Rt. Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP, the Leader of the United Kingdom’s Opposition Labour Party.

A longstanding supporter of West Papuan self-determination, Jeremy Corbyn is a co-founder of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) and was present at the historic Westminster meeting for an Internationally Supervised Vote in 2016.
The full statement from Jeremy Corbyn supporting ULMWP Chairman and the West Papuan struggle for self-determination can be read below:
Honorary Freedom of the City of Oxford: Mr Benny Wenda, Wednesday 17 July 2019
I regret that I am not able to be here today to congratulate Benny in person on receiving this prestigious and well-deserved award. Benny, many congratulations to you.
I have had the privilege of knowing Benny for a long time and have always deeply admired the great passion and spirit with which he has spoken up for the people of West Papua. He has been a tireless campaigner for the West Papuan people’s right to self-determination, earning international recognition for his advocacy and skilled diplomacy. Benny’s commitment to their struggle has been unfaltering and I am pleased that his enormous contribution has today been recognised with this honour of the freedom of the city of Oxford – it is particularly fitting to be given by the city where he has lived as a political refugee for many years.
My late brother died in Lae in Papua New Guinea after having lived there for some years. I developed a special affection for the island on my visits – for its history, diversity and, of course, its natural beauty.
Being rich in natural resources, the island of Papua has inevitably attracted the interests of the mining industry and sadly, decades of mineral extraction and exploitation have caused untold damage to the island and its people. Benny deserves recognition for his tremendous support for West Papua’s environmental sustainability, and the rights of its people who depend upon it.
Congratulations to Benny and Oxford!
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Leader of the Labour Party

Thursday, July 25, 2019

1) West Papua’s Quest for Independence

2) Freeport’s gold and copper sales down 50% due to mine transition
3) Indonesian logger and palm oil producer, the Korindo Group, is challenging some of the claims by environmental NGO, Mighty Earth.
4) Papuan Separatists Unification Unlikely to Stabilize

The Diplomat

1) West Papua’s Quest for Independence 
50 years since the so-called Act of Free Choice, an independent West Papua is closer but still elusive.

By Olivia Tasevski July 25, 2019

A Papuan rises his fist as he displays the "Morning Star" separatist flag during a protest commemorating the 50th year since Indonesia took over West Papua from Dutch colonial rule, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, May 1, 2013.  Image Credit: AP Photo/Gembong Nusantara

This year marks 50 years since West Papua was officially incorporated into Indonesia via 1969’s ironically named Act of Free Choice, whereby less than 1 percent of Papuans were forced to vote in favor of West Papua’s incorporation into Indonesia. To the dismay of Indonesian government officials, 50 years later, a West Papuan pro-independence movement persists and has made some significant gains. Despite these successes, for the foreseeable future, the movement will continue to be hamstrung due to Indonesia’s opposition to an independent West Papua and successive American and Australian governments supporting Indonesian rule over the province.
Since 1969, Papuans have sought to obtain independence through pacifist actions and, in the case of the Free West Papua Movement (OPM), armed struggle against the Indonesian army. Key pro-independence organizations, such as the pacifist United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) and the OPM, argue that Papuans should obtain independence on the grounds that, unlike Muslim-majority Indonesia, Papuans are predominantly Christianand Melanesian. Pro-independence sentiment among Papuans is also motivated by Indonesia’s repressive rule in the province, which the ULMWP labelsa form of “colonialism,” and the fact that human rights violations have been perpetrated by Indonesian forces in West Papua since the 1960s. These violations includeimprisoning pro-independence Papuans for participating in protests, assaulting Papuan journalists, and killing Papuans alongside allegations of torture and rape of Papuan women.
Papuan independence activists have successfully managed to gain support from multiple Melanesian Pacific Island states. Vanuatu in particular has been a longstanding supporter of an independent West Papua. It has providedasylum to pro-independence Papuans and advocatedin favor of West Papua’s independence in international fora, including the United Nations. Furthermore, in 2015, the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), consisting of Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands, granted“observer” status to the ULMWP, led by Benny Wenda, a Papuan who obtained asylum in the United Kingdom after fleeing Indonesia in 2003. The MSG conferring this status upon the ULMWP was significant as it boosted the ULMWP’s legitimacy and markedthe first instance in which a Papuan pro-independence group was represented at an international organization.
Beyond Pacific Island states, pro-independence activists have also gained support from prominent British and Australian politicians. Britain’s Labor Opposition Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, arguably constitutes the most high-profile supporterof the Papuan independence movement, which is not supportedby the British government. Richard Di Natale, a senator in the Australian Parliament and leader of the Australian Greens political party, supports Papuan self-determination. In 2017, Di Natale publicly condemnedhuman rights abuses that have occurred in West Papua, notably the fact that multiple Papuans have been imprisonedfor raising the Morning Star flag, which is banned in Indonesia as it is the flag of the Papuan independence movement. Moreover, in 2018, Di Natale publicly assertedthat the Indonesian government has denied Papuans right to self-determination “for so long,” a reference to the authoritarian and unrepresentative manner in which the so-called Act of Free Choice was conducted.
A small pro-Papuan independence lobby also exists outside the Australian Parliament. For example, in 2017, a pro-independence activist raisedthe Morning Star flag on the roof of the Indonesian-Consulate General in the Australian state of Victoria. This action unsurprisingly provoked strong condemnation from Indonesia’s foreign minister, Retno Marsudi, and saw West Papua re-emerge as a source of tension in the Australia-Indonesia relationship. In 2017, three Victorian local councils held ceremonies where they raised the Morning Star flag and expressedsupport for the Papuan independence movement.
Pro-independence Papuans have also effectively drawn international attention to their demands and human rights abuses perpetrated by Indonesian forces against Papuans. Notably, in 2019, Benny Wenda presentedthe United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet, with a petition signed by 1.8 million Papuans advocating in favor of a UN investigation into alleged human rights violations occurring in West Papua. The petition also called for an internationally supervised vote on Papuan independence.
Despite these gains, since 1962, all Australian governments and Australia’s major political parties, the Liberal Party and the Labor Party, have supported Indonesian sovereignty over West Papua. This support is, in part, motivated by Australia’s desire to maintain good relations with neighboring Indonesia, which constitutes the largesteconomy in Southeast Asia and the fourth most populous state in the world. Bipartisan support for Indonesian rule in West Papua stands in contrast with Australia’s support for Timor-Leste’s independence from Indonesia in the 1990s, which created tension in the Australia-Indonesia relationship.
The Australian government’s support for Indonesian rule in West Papua was codified in 2006 when the Australian and Indonesian governments signed the Lombok Treaty. The treaty stipulatesthat Australia and Indonesia would not “support or participate in activities by any person or entity which constitutes a threat to the stability, sovereignty or territorial integrity of the other Party, including by those who seek to use its territory for encouraging… separatism in the territory of the other Party.” The treaty’s reference to separatism is an implicit reference to the Papuan pro-independence movement, which Indonesian governments have repeatedly labelledas a separatist movement. As a result, via signing the treaty, the Australian government, then led by John Howard, formalized Australia’s policy of supporting Indonesian rule over West Papua.
Similarly, successive U.S. governments have supportedIndonesian sovereignty over West Papua. Thus, the efficacy of the pro-independence movement is and will continue to be limited as it lacks support from either the global hegemon, the United States, or the regional hegemon in the South Pacific, Australia.
Interestingly, even governments of Timor-Leste, which was an Indonesian colony from 1975-99 and had a pro-independence movement that fought against Indonesian rule, have refused to support the Papuan independence movement. This policy is likely motivated by a desire to maintainpositive relations with Indonesia as it constitutes Timor-Leste’s largest and most important neighbor. This support is demonstrated by the fact that Jose Ramos-Horta, who served in the upper echelons of the Timorese pro-independence party, FRETILIN, during Indonesian rule and served as the prime minister, president, and foreign minister of Timor-Leste, has consistently supportedIndonesian sovereignty over West Papua and thus refused to demonstrate solidarity with pro-independence Papuans.
Arguably the most important factor limiting the effectiveness of the movement for an independent West Papua is the fact that all Indonesian governments have opposed Papuan independence. Opposition toward Papuan independence is motivated by a deeply held beliefamong successive Indonesian governments that West Papua is rightfully part of Indonesia as West Papua and Indonesia were both Dutch colonies and together constituted the Netherlands East Indies.
Indonesian governments’ refusal to entertain an independent West Papua is also motivated by the fact that West Papua is a resource-rich province that raises considerable revenue for Indonesian governments. West Papua contains the Grasberg mine, the world’s second-largest copper mine and largestgold mine, which is run by the U.S. mining company, Freeport McMoRan, the largesttaxpayer in Indonesia.
Finally, Indonesian government officials likely fear that an independent West Papua may bolster the pro-independence movement in Maluku, which has existed since the 1950s and has been repressed by Indonesian governments.
In 2019, Indonesia’s Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu statedin relation to West Papua, “[They’re] not allowed independence. Full stop.” Despite the efforts of pro-independence Papuans, for the foreseeable future, an independent West Papua will remain prohibited and improbable.
Olivia Tasevski is an International Relations and Asian Studies tutor at the University of Melbourne, where she completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and Master of International Relations. She specializes in human rights issues in Indonesia, Australia-Indonesia relations, and the history of U.S. foreign relations.


2) Freeport’s gold and copper sales down 50% due to mine transition
The Jakarta Post
Jakarta / Thu, July 25, 2019/ 05:05 pm

Gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) sold less copper and gold in the first half of 2019, decreasing to almost half the amount sold during the same period last year due to the transition from open pit to underground site.
According to the “second quarter and first-semester” report of US mining giant Freeport-McMoRan Inc (FCX), one of the shareholders of PTFI, the latter’s copper sales in the first six months of 2019 stood at 325 million pounds or 48 percent lower year-on-year (yoy).
The lower copper sales were in line with the decrease in production, which fell 58.9 percent to 270 million pounds in the January-June period this year from 658 million pounds in the same period last year.
During the same period, PTFI’s gold sales fell 67.03 percent to 420,000 ounces from 1.27 million ounces. Its gold production dropped 76.3 percent to only 316 million ounces from 1.33 million ounces.
By December 2019, FCX estimates that PTFI’s consolidated copper and gold sales volumes will stand at 600 million pounds of copper and 800,000 ounces of gold.
“PTFI will continue to monitor geotechnical conditions to determine the extent of mining at the Grasberg open pit. As PTFI transitions mining from the open pit to underground, metal production is expected to improve by 2021,” FCX further stated. (hen)

3) Indonesian logger and palm oil producer, the Korindo Group, is challenging some of the claims by environmental NGO, Mighty Earth.
3:54 pm on 25 July 2019 

The NGO has been tackling Korindo over its activities in Papua and Maluku for several years, forcing an investigation by the Forestry Stewardship Council.
But the company said it has been complying with Indonesia law, pointing out the FSC requirements are more stringent.
Mighty Earth wants the company dissociated from the FSC but the council, which is maintaining the company's membership, says Korindo has agreed to collaborate "to improve its environmental and social performance and to provide remedy for the possible impacts caused".
Mighty Earth said Korindo must return customary lands, resolve social conflicts and grievances, fairly compensate local communities for lost land, natural resources, and livelihoods, and restore damaged ecosystems.
It also said Korindo needs to finance the restoration of an area at least equivalent to that which it has destroyed over the past two decades.
Korindo said it has launched legal action against Mighty Earth.
Global Risk Insights

4) Papuan Separatists Unification Unlikely to Stabilize

  by Patrick Dupont ,July 25, 2019

West Papuan separatist groups have recently united under a single banner. However, internal conflict and a determined Indonesian government will likely lead to a deterioration in the security environment in Indonesia’s Papua Province. This will increase the risk of disruption to mining operations in the resource-rich province.
On 1 July 2019, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) announcedthe unification of the three main armed separatist groups in Indonesia’s Papua Province under the political leadership of exiled ULMWP Chairman Benny Wenda. According to the ‘Vanimo Border Declaration’ signed on 01 May 2019, the West Papua Revolutionary Army, West Papuan National Army, and the West Papua National Liberation Army will unite to form the West Papuan Army. 
This represents a historic step for the West Papuan self-determination movement, with the establishment of a unilaterally declared ‘self–defence force’ under the political leadership of the ULMWP. However, disputesover the actual unity of these factions by another West Papuan political organisation — the Free Papua Movement (OPM) — raises doubts over the cohesion of this new political-military front. 

Deep Roots of Conflict 

West Papua and Papua — collectively referred to as ‘West Papua’ — represents the easternmost provinces of the Indonesian archipelago. Despite being ethnically, culturally, and linguistically connected to neighbouring Papua New Guinea and wider Melanesia, West Papua has been part of Indonesia since 1969. 
Sovereignty over West Papua was handed over to Indonesia from the Dutch following a UN-backed referendum on independence dubbed the ‘Act of Free Choice’ in which approximately 1,000pre-selected government delegates voted on behalf of the entire population. Despite questions over the referendum’s legitimacy, Indonesia has vigorously defended its claims over West Papua because it was once part of the Dutch East Indies — the basis of Indonesia’s current borders. 
Since coming under Indonesian sovereignty, West Papua has experienced decades of low-intensity but consistent conflict. This has involved an ongoing armed struggle by several separatist groups which has been met with military force and political suppression by the Indonesian Government. Human rights groups have long accused Indonesian security forces of abuses in West Papua, with independence activists highlighting the ‘slow-motion genocide’ of the indigenous population through transmigration programs from densely populated Java. 
Recent pushes by Jakarta have attempted to simmer tensions through a ‘hearts and minds’ approach in what is one of Indonesia’s most impoverished and underdeveloped regions. This has included endingthe controversial transmigration program in 2015 and an ambitious infrastructure development program throughout West Papua. Despite this, grievances over historical human rights abuses, an overt military presence in the province, and the exploitation of natural resources has fueled the drive for self-determination. 
Most recently, on December 2018, armed separatists from the military wing of the OPM attacked a state-owned construction site, killing31 workers. The year before, tensions over labour disputes, environmental damage, and resentment over revenue distribution from the Grasberg gold and copper mine boiled over resulting in a state of emergency and a violent standoff between OPM-aligned militants and security forces. 

Selfdetermination, Sovereignty, and Gold

The Grasberg mine — the world’s second-largest copper mine — has been at the heart of West Papua’s turbulent history since it began operating in 1967 under US company Freeport–McMoran. Most recently, the Indonesian Government nationalised the mine buying a $3.85 billionmajority share. The purchase came instead of new regulations requiring foreign mining companies to divest their majority stakes in Indonesian operations to local entities.
The most recent push to nationalise Indonesia’s natural resources highlights not only Indonesia’s economic interests but also its desire for control and sovereignty. Maintaining control over West Papua is not only a matter of preserving the nation’s sovereignty but has also been key to Indonesia’s economic prosperity. In the eyes of critical decision-makers in Jakarta, an organised, coherent, and active self-determination movement in West Papua represents a severe threat.

Indonesian Government Response

Since the ULMWP announcement, the Indonesian response has been somewhat muted with military officials ‘shrugging off’ the formation of the West Papuan Army. West Papuan separatists have traditionally been treated as ‘armed criminal groups’ and will likely continue to be so unless there is a significant shift in the way the separatists fight. 
In response to a gunfight between separatists and the Indonesian military in January 2019, the Chief of Indonesia’s Presidential Staff General Moeldoko floated the ideaof re–categorising West Papuan ‘armed criminal groups’ as separatists. This would place any response to the separatist activity under the jurisdiction of the military as opposed to the police. Such a move would likely draw a stronger military presence; impact mining operations, and have a destabilising impact on both the security and economic environment in West Papua.
Despite the declaration of a West Papuan Army, it remains unlikely that such a group would be able to mount significant and organised offensive and defensive operations in West Papua. Separatists groups remain ill-equipped, poorly disciplined, and under-trained. Furthermore, the historically factionalised nature of the movement and personal loyalties to individual commanders will likely cause in-fighting and possible conflict between the newly amalgamated groups. It is also likely that factions operating in areas with high-value natural resources, such as the Grasberg mine, will prioritise the prosperity of their communities over the overarching policies of the ULMWP.