Monday, December 30, 2019

1) What’s at stake in West Papua

2) Police, military hunt armed group on Indonesia-PNG border 
3) Soldier killed in gunfight with rebels in eastern Indonesia  

1) What’s at stake in West Papua
DECEMBER 31, 2019 Updated 2 hours ago

                    Protesters in West Papua set fire to a regional assembly building. Photo: Getty Images

Dr Mark Busse Dr Mark Busse is from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Auckland.

Sophie Faber Sophie Faber is a post graduate anthropology student at the University of Auckland.

Dr Mark Busse and Sophie Faber examine West Papua's history to see what's at stake politically and economically in the current unrest
West Papua has been in the media more than usual over the last six months, with stories about indigenous protests against racism and repression, demands for independence, brutal Indonesian police and military crackdowns, and the banning of foreign journalists. 
And yet, many people know little about West Papua, a territory larger than Germany with a population of 3.5 million. In this article, we provide a brief introduction to West Papua, focusing on the historical background to the present situation and what is at stake politically and economically in the current unrest.
The name “West Papua” can itself be confusing, and how this name is used is a political act. The name refers to the western half of the island of New Guinea, just north of Australia. The eastern half of the island is part of Papua New Guinea, which became independent from Australia in 1975. The western half of New Guinea, currently part of Indonesia, has had various names over the last 125 years—Netherlands New Guinea, West New Guinea, West Irian, Irian Jaya, and Papua. Since 2007, West Papua has been two separate provinces—Papua (most of the western half of New Guinea) and West Papua (the westernmost tip of the island). Independence activists and their supporters, however, refer to the entire western half of the island as “West Papua”, and that is how we will use the name in this article.
A quick look at a map of the island shows the arbitrariness of many political boundaries, reflecting the colonial histories of New Guinea. Many of these are straight lines; drawn by Europeans who knew little to nothing about the areas they were dividing, and which have nothing to do with terrain or the interests of the people who live along those boundaries. This arbitrariness is especially true of the 820km international border between Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
People have lived in New Guinea for approximately 50,000 years. While Western popular images of New Guinea are of primitiveness and isolation, the people of New Guinea have long histories of innovation and have been connected with other parts of the world for a long time. The Highlands region of what is now Papua New Guinea was one of the first places in the world where people practiced agriculture, beginning about 9,000 years ago. Sugar cane was first domesticated in lowland New Guinea approximately 8,000 years ago, and bird of paradise feathers from New Guinea were used in China as long as 2,000 years ago.
European colonisation of West Papua began in earnest in 1828 when the Dutch claimed sovereignty over New Guinea west of 141° east longitude. This claim was made prior to any Dutch, or other European, person visiting the interior of New Guinea, and was made in the absence of any Western knowledge concerning the people who lived on, or near, the 141st meridian.
During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Dutch maintained a few outposts on the coasts of West Papua. Later, between 1928 and 1942, Dutch colonial authorities imprisoned about 1,000 Indonesian nationalists near the headwaters of the Digul River, a remote area of West Papua largely cut off from the outside world and notorious for endemic malaria. As a result, this prison camp, and West Papua more generally, became part of the Indonesian independence narrative.
Indonesia declared independence from the Netherlands in 1945, but it took four years of armed conflict before the Netherlands recognised Indonesia’s independence. As part of its struggle, Indonesia asserted a political claim to West Papua, which the Netherlands rejected. In 1950, a committee of Indonesian and Dutch officials, but no West Papuans, met to determine West Papua’s fate. Indonesia argued that all Dutch colonial territory was historically part of greater Indonesia, a claim the Dutch rejected. They argued that West Papuans were racially distinct and had a right to self-determination. While many countries agreed with the Dutch, the United States, concerned to keep Indonesia on their side in the Cold War, pressed the Dutch to acquiesce to Indonesia’s demands.
In 1961, after ten years of inconclusive negotiations, the New Guinea Council, made up of West Papuans, declared independence and adopted the Morning Star flag, which was first raised on December 1, 1961. This flag has become a powerful symbol for West Papuans, many of whom have been attacked or imprisoned over the years for raising it. In response to the declaration of independence, Indonesia mounted an unsuccessful military campaign to “regain” West Papua from the Dutch in 1962. The same year, the Dutch agreed to UN administration of West Papua with the understanding that a referendum on West Papua’s future would be held before the end of 1969.
On August 2,1969, an “Act of Free Choice” was organised by the Indonesian military under UN supervision. Rather than a referendum of West Papuan people, which was what the UN planned, consultations were held with 1025 West Papuan leaders who were, under the watchful eye of the Indonesian military, forced at gunpoint and through a show of hands to unanimously agree to their country’s integration with Indonesia. Despite arguments by Ghana and other African countries for a new referendum, the UN General Assembly endorsed the incorporation of West Papua into Indonesia, ironically in the name of decolonisation and regional stability.
From 1969 until today there has been ongoing armed resistance by groups seeking independence, and it is estimated that 100,000 West Papuans have been killed in the ensuing violence. Indonesia has been accused of human rights abuses, including military attacks on civilians advocating for independence or expressing sympathy toward rebels. People who raise the Morning Star flag are jailed for treason. Indonesia governs West Papua as a police state, including banning international journalists. As of 2010, 13,500 West Papuan refugees live in exile in Papua New Guinea.
What is at stake in these struggles over West Papua? Why is Indonesia unwilling to allow West Papuans to exercise their right of self-determination? Much of the answer has to do with West Papua’s huge economic and land resources.
When the Dutch claimed sovereignty in 1828, they knew little about the economic potential of West Papua. Over the last century, however, the enormous resources of West Papua have become clearer. Access to resources has been a major factor driving Dutch, Indonesian, and American interests in West Papua since 1945. Those resources include some of the world’s largest gold and copper deposits, large oil and gas deposits, vast forests, and the land itself.
The Grasberg mine, jointly owned by the Indonesian government and the US mining company Freeport-McMoRan, has the world’s largest gold reserves and the world’s second largest copper reserves. West Papua’s large oil and gas deposits are being exploited by British, Chinese, and Japanese companies. West Papua has more than 10 million hectares of tropical rainforest for which Indonesia has granted logging concessions. After the forests are removed, the land is used to grow food and export cash crops, especially oil palm. 
In addition to industrial agriculture, land in West Papua is valuable for resettling people from other densely-populated parts of Indonesia. In 1970, indigenous West Papuans were 90 percent of the population. By 2010, they were less than half of the population. As lucrative as the natural resources are, it is the availability of land for resettlement that provides one of the biggest motivations for Indonesia’s opposition to West Papuan self-determination. With 20 percent of Indonesia’s landmass, West Papua has less than two percent of Indonesia’s population, and Indonesia sees this as critical to solving its population problem.
The recent violent events in West Papua are a continuation of a long struggle against racism and colonialism. Few profits from natural resources have gone to West Papuans. Instead, West Papuans have been evicted from their lands, subjected to brutal racism, and treated like foreigners in their own lands. The tragedy is that Indonesia, which has its own experience of rebellion and revolt against Dutch colonialism, cannot identify with the current and ongoing anti-colonial struggles of West Papuans.
2) Police, military hunt armed group on Indonesia-PNG border 
 4 hours ago
Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - A joint task force of Papua Police and military launched a manhunt for  an armed Papuan group at the Indonesia-Papua New Guinea border, Keerom District, Papua Province, Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Pol. Paulus Waterpauw stated. "An Indonesian military personnel was gunned down by an armed group when he was collecting logistics," Waterpauw said in Jayapura, following which the two security agencies began their manhunt. The victim, Second Sergeant Miftakur, was transferred to the Marthen Indey Hospital in Jayapura.

Miftakur's remains are scheduled to be flown to Semarang, Central Java Province, and his funeral ceremony will be organized in Demak District, spokesman for the XVII Cenderawasih Regional Military Command Col. Eko Daryanto said on a separate occasion.

Apart from Miftakur, the unidentified armed group also injured Private Juwandy while both groups were engaged in a gunfight.

Despite the incident, the police chief assured that the situation in Papua and nearby border areas at Keerom District remained safe and under control.

A total of 23 shooting and criminal cases involving some armed Papuan groups have occurred between early January and December 28, 2019, the Papua Police's records have revealed. Some 10 personnel of both Indonesian Police and military, as well as 10 civilians, were killed in the attacks. (INE)

Related news: Performance of police, military draws accolades from Papuan figures
Reporter: Evarukdijati/Genta Tenri Mawan
Editor: Suharto
3) Soldier killed in gunfight with rebels in eastern Indonesia Source: 
Xinhua| 2019-12-30 20:06:09|Editor: Shi Yinglun
JAKARTA, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- One soldier was killed and another was injured in an exchange of fire with separatists belonging to what the government calls "a criminal armed group" in Indonesia's easternmost Papua province on Monday, local media reported. The gunfight took place when the soldiers were transporting logistics from a military post located at the border shared by Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. The body of the military man was evacuated to RST Marthen Indey Hospital in the province's capital of Jayapura, the media said. Papuan military Spokesman Eko Daryanto confirmed that one soldier was killed and another was wounded, and he has yet to receive reports of the shootout between the soldiers and the criminal armed group. Monday's exchange of fire was the third incident involving soldiers and rebels this month in Papua province. The gunfights have left at least four soldiers dead

Sunday, December 29, 2019

1) Papua Police Handle 23 Armed Group Cases in 2019: Police

2) ‘Resignation’ movement feared to spread throughout the conflict areas
3) A driver shot by security forces at Nduga Regency

4) Chief Security Minister Accuses Papuan District Official of 'Political Maneuver'


1) Papua Police Handle 23 Armed Group Cases in 2019: Police
Translator: Antara   
Editor: Petir Garda Bhwana 
29 December 2019 16:30 WIB

TEMPO.COJakarta - The Papua Police recorded that, during 2019, there were 23 shooting incidents involving the armed Papuan groups that claimed the lives of 10 members of the Indonesian police and military, and 10 civilians, a police officer revealed.
The shooting incident took place in the administrative areas of Puncak Jaya, Jayawijaya, Mimika, and Paniai Districts during 2019, Papua Police Chief Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw said here on Saturday.
ANTARA noted that the Papuan armed separatists have repeatedly launched deadly attacks and killings over the past years.
On December 2, 2018, for instance, a group of armed Papuan rebels had brutally killed 31 workers from PT Istaka Karya, who were engaged in construction and building the Trans Papua project in Kali Yigi and Kali Aurak in Yigi Sub-District, Nduga District.

The armed rebels, who launched the brutal killings, also killed a soldier named Handoko and injured two other security personnel: Sugeng and Wahyu.
Acknowledging this grim reality, Paulus Waterpauw's predecessor, Inspector General Rudolf A. Rodja, said the security disturbances, caused by the rebels, remain a persistent challenge for Indonesia's security apparatuses in Papua.
In the first semester of 2019, at least 10 shooting incidents involving these armed separatists have occurred that claimed seven lives.
Five of the dead victims were soldiers, while two others were a policeman and civilian, Rodja stated on July 3, 2019.
The shooting incidents that took place in the working areas of the Puncak Jaya and Jayawijaya Police Precincts during the January-June period this year had also resulted in six soldiers and two policemen suffering from gunshot wounds.
On Nov 30, a group of Papuan gunmen also opened fire at an escort car owned by PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) at around Mile 60 in Tembagapura Sub-district, Mimika District, Papua Province, but no casualties were reported in the incident.
The gunmen who fired at PTFI's "Delta Zone" escort car might belong to an armed Papuan rebel group, led by Hengki Wamang, according to Spokesman of the XVII/Cenderawasih Regional Military Command Colonel Eko Daryanto.
Apart from the central and provincial governments' endeavors to persuade the rebels to end their acts of violence and return to their families to resume a normal life, the Free Papua Movement (OPM) has officially declared war against Indonesia.
The implication of this OPM's war declaration that its spokesman Jeffrey Bomanak made in Port Moresby, the capital city of Papua New Guinea (PNG), on Jan 31, 2019, has prolonged a circle of violence.

2) ‘Resignation’ movement feared to spread throughout the conflict areas
Published 16 hours ago on 29 December 2019 
By Admin1

Illustration of the meeting between the regent and deputy regent of Nduga in the yard of Kingmi Church, Weneroma Congregation together with the people who sought refuge in Wamena. – Jubi / Islami
Jayapura, Jubi – Following the resignation of a local government official in Nduga, youth activist Benyamin Gurik expressed his concern that the same action would raise throughout the conflict areas if the central government does not change its approach in solving problems in Papua.
“I strongly believe that the act of the former deputy regent of Nduga will inspire all conflict areas. Even all legislative and executive members will take the same action in favour to attract global attention,” said Gurik on Tuesday (12/24/2019).
Further, he said if all leaders in the conflict area decided to resign from their position, it would cause new problems which intricate the central government.
“Therefore, I suggest that the central government to immediately change its approach in solving the conflict in Papua by adopting the non-violence approach,” he added.

He hopes the central government would immediately withdraw the military troops from all regions in Papua as it has only increased the human right violations against indigenous Papuans and ruined the reputation of the Government of Indonesia in the international community.
Moreover, Gurik encouraged the government to immediately open a peaceful and dignified dialogue as suggested by LIPI (the Indonesian Institute of Science) and JDP (the Peace Papua Network).
“Only a peaceful dialogue could bring peace to the people and avoid victims from both sides, military and community. Therefore, peace would be through upon us all,” said Gurik.
Mahfud promised a comprehensive solution for Papua.
Mahfud MD, the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, ensured that problems in Papua would be comprehensively resolved with some approaches during the discussion ‘Chat with the Media’ held in Bakso Boedjangan, Jakarta, Thursday (12/26/2019).
“The government, as conveyed by President Joko Widodo, will conduct some comprehensive approaches towards the problems in Papua, in particular, the economic approach. Meanwhile, the cultural, educational and legal approaches would be more synergised given it requires huge financial resources,” said Mahfud.
However, he said, the security approach must be kept to protect the people. According to him, it is impossible to exclude the police in terms of security.
“Even a country as safe as New Zealand set their police officers everywhere. Why do we not be allowed to use the security approach? If not, it is not a country,” he said.
Moreover, he said the security approach aims to protect and ensure the welfare of the people. He also stressed that the government’s attitude towards the problems in Papua refers to the international conventions.
“UN Resolution 2504 of 19 November 1969 stated that Papua is a legitimate part of the Republic of Indonesia. Then, when a movement or separatism arose, we have to face it. Separatists should recognise as separatists, aren’t they?” said Mahfud.
Then, this former Chief of the Constitutional Court also mentioned about the protection for the community at the grassroots level; those who know nothing but often brought into difficulties and troubles, they must receive legal and human rights protection. (*)
Reporter: Hengky Yeimo
Editor: Pipit Maizier
3) A driver shot by security forces at Nduga Regency

Published 16 hours ago on 29 December 2019 
By Admin1

A rally in Nduga. Residents held a protest at Kenyam Airport on Saturday (21/12/2019) regarding the shooting on Hendrik Lokbere. – the courtesy of Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – Hendrik Lokbere, a resident of Kenyam of Nduga Regency reportedly shot on Friday (20/12/2019) at 7 p.m. Papua time. Lokbere, who was a public transport driver, was travelling to the border of Asmat Regency to pick up his passenger.
Lokbere’s relative Samuel Tabuni said the family confirmed Lokbere was passing down Yosema road where he gave a sign to a group of vehicles by turning his car’s headlights. It found that it was the security forces’ vehicles. “The security forces suddenly shot their gun and hit Lokbere on his chest,” said Tabuni on Sunday (22/12/2019).
Tabuni said that Lokbere’s uncle, who was with him at the time, jumped out of the car immediately. While Lokbere was trying to reverse his car but struggling because it was on the climb. The security forces then neared the car and ordered him to open his side window. When it opened, the security forces pointed a gun facing him and dragged him out of the vehicle. Then, they shot him once again within a short distance where the bullet went through his neck. Watching this upon his eyes, his uncle ran away immediately to escape from the scene.
According to his family, Tabuni said there was a firefight between the Indonesian security forces and the West Papuan National Liberation Army from the morning until late afternoon at Kenyam Road to Batas Batu on Friday. Lokbere came by to his sister’s house to buy gasoline at 3 p.m. Papua time.
He told his sister that he wanted to pick up his passenger at the border of Nduga and Asmat regencies, but his passenger could not pass Kenyam due to the armed conflict. His sister then told him to hold his plan because the area of Batas Batu where he should pass by still happening the firefight.
“At around 7 p.m. Papua time, Lokbere thought the situation was quite conducive, so he asked his uncle to accompany him to the border (Nduga-Asmat). But, they shot him while he was in the car,” said Tabuni.
They just left his body at the scene before his family, accompanied by the vice-regent of Nduga, came to take his body on Saturday. The residents then took his body to Kenyam Airport for a protest. They asked for clarification from the Papua Police Chief and the Regional Military Commander of Cenderawasih.
Tabuni admitted that he already contacted both police chief and regional military commander for further clarification. “Together with their investigation team, we would go to Nduga for examining the current situation there,” he said.
According to his family, Lokbere had a genial personality. He was friendly and helped those who need help, including the security forces.
Regarding the shooting incident on Lokbere, Jubi attempted to ask the Papua Police Chief for a clarification. However, he did not reply to the questions either through Whatapps nor a mobile phone. (*)
Reporter: Angela Flassy
Editor: Pipit Maizier


4) Chief Security Minister Accuses Papuan District Official of 'Political Maneuver'

DECEMBER 27, 2019 
Jakarta. Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud M.D. accused a Papuan district official of engaging “political maneuver” by publicly declaring resignation and fabricating story about a fatal shooting.
Wentius Nimiangge, deputy head of Nduga district, resigned on Monday after claiming that his driver and right-hand man Hendrik Lokbere was shot to dead on Dec. 20.
Mahfud said the claim was baseless as law enforces couldn’t confirm the fatal shooting.
"Don’t get provoked, [Wentius’ resignation] could be just a political maneuver,” Mahfud said after leading an inter-ministerial meeting discussing Papua at his office in Central Jakarta on Friday.
Hendrik reportedly was killed as he was caught in crossfire between government security personnel and a separatist group in Nduga.
Mahfud said there was no proof that the driver was shot in the clash.
“He said his driver and henchman was shot, but we found no one. The TNI [Indonesian Military] and the National Police have confirmed that they did not found his identity," Mahfud said.

Wentius, who has been in the post since 2017, announced his resignation as he participated in a rally in Kenyam, Nduga. He has not officially submitted his resignation letter to the government.
Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian, who was present in the meeting, said that there was no immediate plan to withdraw security personnel from the restive province. Jakarta has beefed up security in Papua since the killing of at least 19 construction workers by a separatist group last December.
“No one can guarantee that such an incident will not happen again. That’s why there is a joint task force by the TNI and the National Police to enforce the law,” Tito said.
He also said that senior police officers stationed in Papua had been instructed to take punitive measures against their subordinates if proven guilty of attacking innocent civilians.
Apart from security issues, the meeting also discussed development programs to drive economic growth and prosperity in Papua.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

1) One year Nduga refugee was neglected

2) ULMWP Chairman’s Christmas message to the people of West Papua

3) TNI, Freeport Sign MoU on Security
A google translate . Google translate can be a bit erratic. 
original bahasa link at

1) One year Nduga refugee was neglected
December 29, 2019 12:26 am

Reporter: Islami Adisubrata

Nduga refugee children when returning to school in a makeshift school rebuilt by a team of volunteers in mid-August 2019 in the courtyard of the Weneroma Church. -Jubi / Islamic
By: Islami Adisubrata (End of year reflection in Lapago)

YEARS have happened or conflict in Nduga, starting from 4 December 2018 until 4 December 2019. Until now the people of Nduga who chose to flee out of their villages are still neglected.
The evacuation was triggered due to the killing of PT. Istaka Karya by the TPN-PB group on December 2, 2018 in the vicinity of Puncak Kabo, Yigi District, after the conflict, the conflict spread to 11 other districts.

As the incident happened, civilians who did not know anything had to become victims of the conflict, they had fled to evacuate outside Nduga, due to fear and trauma from military operations.

Evacuating is the only choice for the 11 districts in Nduga. They went outside areas such as Jayawijaya, Lanny Jaya, the capital city of Nduga, to Mimika.

Various problems also arose after the community chose to get out of their villages, ranging from the pain experienced by both adults and children to result in death.

The education of Nduga children also becomes a problem, where many displaced children must be accommodated in emergency schools created by volunteers, especially in Jayawijaya. Although initially going well, but entering the 2019-2020 school year emergency schools that were established were no longer in use because the conditions had begun to deteriorate.

Although on August 19, 2019 the volunteer team re-opened a school for Nduga children who sought refuge in the Kingmi Church yard of the Weneroma congregation, Ilekma, Jayawijaya Regency, but it did not last long due to the lack of support from the local government.

Even in early August 2019, the solidarity team cared for the Nduga conflict, which consisted of elements of the church and human rights observers and other institutions, released the latest data on civil society victims who died in the post-conflict conflict in Nduga since December 2018.

Theo Hesegem as a human rights observer and Executive Director of the Papua Justice and Human Integrity Foundation said that the victims died from 4 December 2018 until the end of July 2019 there were 182 people both adults and children.

"This data is from the Kingmi church classists in Nduga, MRP representatives from Nduga, Jayawijaya coordinator representatives, the Nduga humanitarian team and involved all refugees by verifying victim data," he said, while holding a press conference at the Kingmi Church yard in the Weneroma congregation, Ilekma, Regency Jayawijaya, Thursday (1/8/2019).

From the data, detailed female victims died 21 people, 69 male children, 21 female victims, 20 male children, 14 female toddlers, 12 male toddlers, 8 male babies people, 17 baby girls died with a total of 182 people.

"182 of these people died in the refugee data including those in Wamena, Timika, Paro, and other places. This data is accurate, because we also have evidence such as photographs, information from which village, which district, where to be buried, everything is clear. Except for those who died in the conflict area, there were indeed no photographs, but for those who died in the refugee camp there were some photos and others we will try to take back the photos, "said Theo Hesegem.

According to him, of the 182 people they died as a result of physical violence carried out by joint TNI-Polri apparatus, some were burned alive at home, died in the forest due to hunger, children were indicated to have died of cold, sickness and hunger.

The solidarity team concerned about the Nduga conflict expressed their concern for the 17 victims in Puncak Kabo, Yigi District, Nduga.

Representative of the Papua People's Assembly (MRP) in the Nduga region, Luis Maday, said that this matter needs to be considered and seen in a humanitarian manner. Data on the victims who died in the hands of the team are accurate and reliable data.

"The data on the victims in our hands with 182 people is accurate, we who are carrying out this data collection are ready to take responsibility," Maday said at the time.

Refugees feel forgotten

Although there were efforts and steps taken by the central government to the regions in handling the Nduga refugee problem, it was actually considered not to solve the problem, even there was a refusal from refugees in Jayawijaya for help from the central government.

On August 8, 2019, the Minister for Women's Empowerment and Child Protection, Yohana Yambise, had the opportunity to visit Nduga refugees in the Weneroma Church compound while bringing aid, but was refused by the community and they only requested that the president immediately withdraw the security forces or military from Nduga.

The Nduga refugee volunteer team, Wednesday (4/12/2019), also held a service at the Kingmi Church of the Weneroma congregation, Elekma, Jayawijaya, to commemorate the Nduga conflict year, 4 December 2018 - 4 December 2019.

Nduga refugee volunteer team, Dolia Ubruangge said, from the data known to the volunteer team there were 238 civilians who died due to three factors such as being hit by the authorities, being sick in the refugees to starvation while hiding in the middle of the wilderness.

"In fact not only 238 people, refugee victims are known to be more than that, because the victims who have data on us those who died in Wamena and Kuyawage, where it was obtained after residents reported to the volunteer team," Dolia Ubruangge said.

According to him, there were also some refugees who died and their families did not report to the volunteer team or the Nduga humanitarian team, so it was not included in the data.

Dolia Ubruangge said, a year of Nduga conflict Nduga refugees still felt ignored or felt forgotten by the central, provincial and district governments.

He hopes that in the future the government can pay attention to the handling of these refugees, and the government should not only look at it from one side of its politics, but must look at it from its humanity side, where for one year there has been no handling from the government and assistance received only from churches or solidarity other society.

Another Nduga refugee volunteer team, Arim Tabuni, admitted that this service was held to remember the events in Nduga that had and had taken place, and for this year the people in 11 districts affected by the conflict had not returned to their respective villages.

He also mentioned President Joko Widodo's promise that military operations would only last for three months, but until now there are still military operations in the Nduga region.

On World Human Rights Day, 10 December 2019, a number of human rights observers in the Central Mountains of Papua warned him by lighting candles as a sign of mourning in front of the Wio Silimo Monument. They recalled cases of human rights violations in Papua specifically the events of 23 September 2019 in Wamena and the Nduga case.

According to activists, human rights violations are not only about murder cases, but public services that do not work well such as in education and health, including human rights violations.

"Let's now build Papua with a sense of humanity and by prioritizing the approach of cultural values, brotherhood, economics and most importantly the approach to political issues must be resolved politically as well," said Father Jhon Djonga, one of the human rights activists in Papua.

He also assessed the Nduga problem as allowed by the state, where the number of victims killed in the conflict when combined between Nduga's native civil society plus bridge and road workers killed, reached 255 people and that must be taken seriously. (*)

Editor: Kristianto Galuwo

2) ULMWP Chairman’s Christmas message to the people of West Papua

December 24, 2019 in Statement
Twenty-nineteen has been the worst year on record for the people of West Papua. They cannot enjoy their Christmas this year. They are facing military operations in every corner of every village in West Papua, from Nduga to Puncak Jaya to Intan Jaya.
Rather than celebrate Christmas with our neighboring tribe or church like other countries in the region, West Papuans cannot move because of the military surrounding their villages and towns. During the West Papua Uprising this year Indonesia deployed 16,000 troops to crush our peaceful uprising, and more troops continue to be deployed. West Papua is becoming a 21st century war zone in the Asia-Pacific.
This Christmas, seven West Papuan political prisoners remain in prison in Kalimantan, where they were flown by Indonesia after being kidnapped for peacefully exercising their right to free expression, and are now on hunger strike. Buchtar Tabuni and Bazoka Logo, two of the political prisoners, are members of the ULMWP Bureaus. Indonesia is persecuting us and our organization whilst the ULMWP and Indonesia are both members of the Melanesian Spearhead Group. How can Indonesia claim to represent and protect Melanesians whilst they arrest and imprison us for demanding our rights? In Jakarta, Surya Anta and his friends are facing life sentence for peacefully supporting the West Papuan people’s rights to self-determination.
The West Papuan students who led an exodus from their universities in Indonesia due to the daily racism and discrimination they face are now being chased and harassed by the Indonesian military, police and intelligence. West Papuan people are not safe under the hand of Indonesia. When we try to hold prayer meetings during our independence anniversaries like December 1, or to celebrate Christmas with our communities, we are stopped by the violence and discrimination of Indonesian police and military operations.
I request that the Indonesian government immediately stop the military operations in Nduga, Puncak Jaya and Intan Jaya. The Indonesian government should allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights into these regions to observe and verify the situation on the ground, in accordance with a motion passed unanimously this month by the 79 sovereign states of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).
The issue of West Papua is not a secret anymore. From the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) to the 79 countries in the ACP, dozens of states are now starting to support West Papua. Both the ACP and the PIF have called for the High Commissioner to be allowed into West Papua, so Indonesia must agree to their request immediately.
To my people back home, you are not alone. Your voice has been heard by 79 countries now. I am confident that your day will come.
I would like to thank the people and government of Vanuatu and the 18 countries in the Pacific who passed a resolution of support for West Papua this year. To all the solidarity networks around the world, thank you for supporting us in 2019 – from sports players to musicians, lawyers to politicians – particularly those in the Pacific who have tirelessly supported our struggle. Please continue to support us next year, as we need you to be a voice for voiceless people more than ever. This year we have had great successes internationally whilst Indonesia has got more violent and repressive back home. These are difficult times, but you all continue to stand by and assist us: thank you.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.
Benny Wenda


3) TNI, Freeport Sign MoU on Security

Laila Afifa

TEMPO.COJakarta - The Indonesian Military or TNI and PT Freeport Indonesia signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the security of the mining giant in Timika, Papua.
The tie was signed by Commander Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto and the corporate CEO Clayton Allen Wenas at the TNI Headquarters, Cilangkap, East Jakarta, Thursday, December 26.
According to Hadi, the mining firm was categorized as a national vital strategic object located in a very remote, difficult area of the province.
"Besides, Armed Criminal Groups (KKB) and escalating, fluctuating security disturbances pose threats there. So, integrated security coordination and synergy are necessary," Hadi said in a written statement Thursday night.
To secure the mining giant, TNI can carry out independent or joint operations, for example, with the National Police. "As we know, TNI is a unit that is trained to carry out tasks in fields with characteristics such as the mining site of Freeport," he added.
With this MoU on the security, the TNI will be able to optimize its units closest to the location of the mining industry, including the newly formed Joint Regional Defense Command III, which also covers the operational area of PT Freeport Indonesia.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

1) Minister Prompts Freeport Indonesia to Recruit More Local Staff

2) Heavy downpour ravages tens of houses in West Papua's Wasior 

1) Minister Prompts Freeport Indonesia to Recruit More Local Staff 
Translator: Antara   Editor: Petir Garda Bhwana 
23 December 2019 05:39 WIB

TEMPO.COJakarta - Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Arifin Tasrif has urged the gold copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia to recruit more local workers from Papua as part of human capital empowerment in the province.
"I'd be delighted if more workers are recruited from Papua. Therefore, Freeport Indonesia has a responsibility to improve the quality of human capital in the province," Tasrif said in Papua on Sunday.
According to the minister, Freeport Indonesia, a local unit of the US miner Freeport-McMoRan, must support the mining polytechnic program in the province's universities.
"We already have a (mining) polytechnic program. It will provide a good quality manpower for Freeport Indonesia. However, we must provide all necessary assistance. It has been a commitment of the Indonesian government as mandated by the Constitution," Tasrif expounded.
According to Freeport Indonesia's latest data, of the total 6,943 employees, 6,791 of them are Indonesian nationals, while 152 others are foreign experts.
In addition to the employment-related issues, the minister also mentioned the updates of the underground mining site construction to replace three previous sites, including Grasberg open pit, DMLZ, and Grasberg Block Cave for 2020 to 2023.
The underground mining site has yet to be operated due to some technical issues. "I am confident that with its recognized reputation, Freeport Indonesia will soon solve the problems," the minister said.


2) Heavy downpour ravages tens of houses in West Papua's Wasior  
7 hours ago

Wasior, West Papua (ANTARA) - Heavy, incessant rains lashed Wasior City in Teluk Wondama District, West Papua, Monday afternoon, prompting the Anggris River to overflow and inundate tens of houses and kiosks while damaging buildings, a local government official stated.

"At least 46 houses incurred minor to serious damage owing to the mudflow in the aftermath of the heavy rainfall," Wasior Sub-district Head Anthonius Alex Marani told ANTARA here on Tuesday.

The 25-cm-thick mud swept across the floors of the houses and damaged all items inside. However, no casualties were reported in the disaster, he noted, adding that Wasior and Wasior II Villages bore the maximum brunt of the overflowing Anggris River.

Several residents of Wasior City admitted to feeling traumatized by the flash floods in 2010 and 2013 that had resulted in the deaths of several hundred people.

"On Monday evening, we took refuge in Al Fallah Mosque, as we are scared of the flash floods," Nur Keres, whose house is located on the Anggris River bank, noted.

On Tuesday morning, the waters of Anggris River had receded, and a joint team of local government officials, rescue workers, as well as local police and military personnel joined hands to clean up the houses and areas swept by the mudflow.

The rainy season has triggered flash floods in certain other parts of Indonesia. In Riau, for instance, six people died as flash floods and a landslide hit certain areas in the province, Riau Disaster Mitigation Agency's (BPBD's) Acting Head Edwar Sanger stated.

The landslide buried two of the dead victims, while four others died due to the flash floods inundating certain areas in the districts of Rokan Hulu and Kuantan Singingi, he remarked at a recent meeting with related authorities.

According to Sanger, the floods inundated the areas of 216 villages in the districts of Rokan Hulu, Kampar, Pelalawan, Kuantan Singingi, Indragiri Hulu, and Rokan Hilir, thereby affecting 8,798 houses.

Due to the grave nature of such natural disasters, the district governments of Kampar, Rokan Hulu, Pelalawan, and Indragiri Hulu had issued an emergency alert status in response to the threats of floods and landslides until the end of this year, he remarked.

The Riau provincial administration had also declared an emergency alert status in effect from Dec 20 to Dec 31, 2019.

At least 25,133 families, or some 62,630 people, were affected by the floods and landslide, most of whom are in the districts of Kuantan Singingi and Kampar, he noted. Related news: Flood inundates residential area in Jayapura, Papua
Related news: Papua's government to relocate residents from Cycloop nature reserve

Reporter: Toyiban, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto

Saturday, December 21, 2019

1) Gunmen attack plane in Indonesia's Papua

2) Local Parliament urged to question security forces’ deployment to different regencies in Papua
3) TNI HQ confirms no additional deployment of troops in Papua  20th December 2019

1) Gunmen attack plane in Indonesia's Papua

Saturday, 21 Dec 2019  8:11 PM MYT
JAKARTA: Gunmen opened fire on a small commercial plane as it landed in Indonesia's restive province of Papua carrying nine passengers, one of the plane's pilots said on Saturday (Dec 21). No casualties were reported.

The attack occurred in the hilly district of Puncak, a stronghold of separatists who have battled Indonesian rule in the mineral-rich but impoverished region since the early 1960s, said the Indonesian co-pilot, Purwanto Condro Usodo.

Usodo said that he and the Australian pilot, Michael Cumming, were initially unaware of the shooting and managed to land the aircraft safely at Beoga airport from the mining town of Timika until passengers told them that they saw gunmen spray the plane with bullets while landing.

Usodo said in a video obtained by media on Saturday from a source in the Indonesian army that about 30 minutes later, the gunmen tried to shoot people who were unloading supplies and luggage from the plane.

But the gunmen fled into the jungle after soldiers on the ground returned fire, while the pilots and passengers were evacuated to a security post near the airport.

It was unclear whether any of the gunmen were killed in the shootout, which lasted over three hours, Usodo said.

Military spokesmen did not answer calls seeking comment on the shooting, which happened amid an apparent escalation of attacks since Dec. 1 by the West Papua National Liberation Army, or TPNPB, the military wing of the Free Papua Movement.

A declaration of independence from Dutch rule on Dec. 1, 1961, was rejected by the Dutch and later by Indonesia.

A low-level insurgency for independence has simmered in Papua since it was transferred from Dutch to Indonesian rule in 1963.

The region, which makes up the western half of the island of New Guinea, was incorporated into Indonesia in 1969 following a UN-sponsored ballot that has since been dismissed as a sham.

Indonesian military and police said earlier that three soldiers and a policeman have been killed during recent clashes in Papua, sparking fear among residents of the predominantly Christian region, with the attacks coming just ahead of Christmas. - AP 


2) Local Parliament urged to question security forces’ deployment to different regencies in Papua
Jayapura, Jubi – The Second Secretary of Papua Customary Council of the Third Papua Congressional Hearing in Biak, John NR Gobai, urges the Papua House of Representatives to clarify the police and military regarding the deployment of security forces in several regencies since the last week.
He said he got the information from the people if 13 December 2019 a total of four helicopters of the air force that transport the armed military forces to Paniai Regency. The next day, about five to ten trucks of military forces departed from Nabire to Dogiyai, Paniai and Deiyai.
“I also get the information, in Sugapa, Intan Jaya Regency on 13 and 14 December 2019, there were military and Brimob personnel sent there using the helicopter. As well as at Beoga, Puncak Regency,” Gobai told Jubi on Tuesday (17/12/2019).
He worried that the troops’ deployment to some regencies would emerge unrest among people during the Christmas.
According to Gobay, some days ago he has asked this issue to the military commander of Cenderawasih/XVII about the deployment that aims to secure the Christmas 2019 and New Year Eve 2020, as well as the shift of on-duty personnel for several months in many areas of Papua to their units.
“I hope the Papua house of representatives immediately asks for clarification on the existence of these troops in many regencies. Do not let this situation occurred for a long time. I am worried it makes people trauma,” he said.
Moreover, he said it would be better if there are no additional troops deployed to many areas in Papua. the security in each regency/municipality should be handed over to local security forces on “We have also asked the National Human Rights Commission to review this situation and back up our request,” he said.
A day before, the Vice Commander of Mobile Brigade Corps, Brigadier General Abdul Rakhman Baso, said Brimob still prepare about 5.000 personnel to secure the Chrismas and New Year Eve in Papua and Papua Barat.
Quoted by Antara News Agency, Abdul Rakhman Baso said the Brimob personnel will be divided into several task units. (*)
Reporter: Arjuna Pademme
Editor: Pipit Maizier

3) TNI HQ confirms no additional deployment of troops in Papua  20th December 2019

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Defense Forces (TNI) Headquarters does not intend to dispatch additional troops to Papua Province after an exchange of fire with the armed criminal group on Tuesday (Dec 17) that killed its two soldiers.

Although another gunfight broke out, the TNI Headquarters will not step up the number of troops stationed in the easternmost Indonesian province, Chief of the TNI Information Center Major General Sisriadi clarified at the TNI Headquarters in Cilangkao, East Jakarta, on Friday.

"Papua continues to use troops that have been stationed there," he remarked.

Related news: TNI Commander Tjahjanto to take office in Papua

Related news: Withdraw troops from Papua to avoid confrontation: analyst

Two TNI soldiers -- identified as First Lieutenant Erizal Zuhry Sidabutar and Second Sergeant Rizky Ramadhan -- were killed after members of the armed criminal group in Intan Jaya District, Papua Province, attacked them on Tuesday, (Dec 17).

The bodies of the two soldiers were flown in to Jakarta and Medan, North Sumatra, respectively on Thursday (Dec 19) for burial. The body of First Lieutenant Erizal was flown to Kualanamu Airport in Medan soon after arriving at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Cengkarang, west of Jakarta.

In the meantime, the body of Second Sergeant Rizky Ramadhan was laid in state at the bereaved family's house shortly after it was brought to Jakarta. He would later be buried at the Kalibata Heroes Cemetery in South Jakarta on Friday.

Sisriadi stated that the two soldiers killed in the line of duty would receive posthumous ranks.

Related news: Social approach needed to settle Papua conflict: Kalla
Reporter: Syaiful Hakim/Suharto