Press Release Human Rights Solidarity for Nduga: Stop the Joint Operation in Nduga Regency, Papua Province

18 Jul 2018

Facts Regarding the Joint Apparatus Operations

In the last two days (11-12 July 2018) the Papuan public has been concerned with the joint military and police operation operation against the alleged armed group TPN / OPM in the civilian village of Alguru, Kenyam District, Nduga Regency, Papua Province. According to various information reported by SuaraPapua.com and TabloidJubi.com, there has been an air attack by a joint apparatus against TPN / OPM group’s headquarter in Kampung Alguru. In the report, the Nduga District Government: the Regent and Vice Regent stated that since the 11th April 2018 the combined apparatus used a helicopter unit to carry out the shooting operation from the air towards Alguru village. The operation lasted from morning until afternoon.

The information regarding the joint police and TNI operation has been verified by both the Police and TNI. In a statement given by the Jayawijaya Police Chief and Polda Papua that the operation was carried out against armed groups who had shot members of the police while on duty during the local elections on 25 July 2018 at Kenyam Airport, Nduga. The police also confirmed the use of one helicopter in the operation carrying food material.

The crossfire between the Apparatus and TPN / OPM, including the addition of troops prior to the massive joint aparatus operation on 11 July 2018, in the past two months the two sides (apparatus and TPN / OPM groups) have been engaged in exchanging fires with respective their propositions.

We noted that there has been an armed contact between the joint forces with TPN / OPM 4 times from June to July 2018. The deadly shootings occurred on June 25, shooting of TPN / OPM group against Twin Otter aircraft which carried a number of police officers to secure the Gubernatorial election in Nduga, resulting in three deaths. Two of the victims were members of the police force and one civilian who was the pilot of the Twin Otter. Action took place at the airport runway Kenyam. Before the shooting on June 25, 2018, two days earlier, on June 22, 2018 the TPN / OPM group also shot a Twin Otter aircraft in the same location.

The addition of troops in large numbers continued to be deployed to Nduga Regency post the June 22 and 25 June arms contact. Especially from the police, hundreds of personnel of Brimob troops from the Papua Police have been deployed in several stages to the Nduga Regency. From the information obtained, the total number of the joint apparatus operation personnel that have been deployed is nearing thousands. The deployment of these troops directly controlled by the Papua Regional Police. The ground for the deployment of the joint apparatus operation is that the operation in Kampung Alguru is a law enforcement operation against the armed groups that interfere with the implementation of the Gubernatorial elections.

The Collective Agreement between the Apparatus, Government and Nduga Community

Before the massive operation of the joint apparatus on July 11, 2018, according to the information we obtained on June 29, 2018, a meeting had been held between the police, the TNI and the government and the people to discuss the security conditions in Nduga and the implementation of the Gubernatorial elections. The police were represented by the Papua Police Chief Irjen Pol. Boy Rafly Amar and TNI were represented by Commander 17 Cendrawasih Mag. Gen TNI. George E. Supit. S.sos, the Government of Nduga were represented by Regent Yairus Gwijangge and the community were represented by several community leaders. The meeting concluded that Gubernatorial election can be implemented and the security apparatus will guarantee a conducive security for the people of Nduga Regency.

Residents’ Condition Post Operation

The condition post Joint Operation Apparatus in Kampung Alguru on July 11, 2018, the community of Nduga does not feel comfortable and safe. The safety of the Nduga community is severely threatened by the armed actions of both groups (TNI/Police Aparatus and TPN / OPM). From various accounts of the Government of Nduga and the citizens that were published by various local and national media that as a result of the operation of the apparatus, the residents of Kampung Alguru had evacuated their village to the jungle and to several other areas such as Wamena and  Yahukimo. The operation did not only affect the Alguru villagers but also has an impact on the residents of three nearby villages including the residents of Kenyam town (the capital of Nduga Regency) who are also feel threatened. The Bupati said that due to the operation, many residents were traumatised and in fear. The head of the Church of the Kenyam Evangelical Church Pdt. Zakeus Kogoya acknowledged that three people were found dead after incident.

Certainly the immediate impacts of such operation are the demise of the education activities for Nduga children and the breaking down of the access to health services for Nduga citizens in Kampung Alguru and three other nearby villages specifically, and also throughout Nduga Regency in general. Other government development activities can also be hampered.

Responding to the event, various parties have been calling for ending the excessive behaviours of the apparatus. Local Papuan Parliamentarians have voiced for ending the addition of security force personnel and for withdrawing the troops from Nduga. The Nduga Regency government has called on the authorities to stop air shooting and use of large numbers of apparatus and heavy weapons: (suspected) bombs or other equipment which endanger the citizens lives, and immediately withdraw its troops from Nduga.

Expressions Human Rights Solidarity for Nduga

From the explanation of a series of armed contact events, the form of attack on 11 July 2018, the use of weaponry by the apparatus, the number of joint apparatus and the condition of the civilians, it can generally be described that the operation has given a serious threat to the safety and security of Nduga residents. The operation also has an impact on the ineffectiveness or the closed down of government services. It means there has been a loss of rights (Sipol and Ekosob) of Nduga residents due to the conflict intended.

This situation of emergency must stop. The security forces must build a persuasive approach with armed groups. The chosen persuasive method has to be able to create a conducive condition in Nduga Regency.

Therefore we the Human Righs Solidarity for Nduga, which consists of various elements civil society groups that are focused and active in the fulfilment and the advancement of human rights in Papua express our:

  1. Concerns regarding the condition of the Nduga community, post joint operation on July 11 at Kampung Alguru, Nduga Regency, Papua;
  2. We urge the Police and TNI officers to stop the operations in Kampung Alguru, Nduga Regency;
  3. We urge the Provincial Government of Papua, Nduga Regency, TNI and POLRI to ensure the safety and security of Nduga residents without exception;
  4. Immediately open for access and provide security and safety guarantees for Human rights, journalist and medical workers;
  5. We urge National Human Rights commission to immediately conduct investigations and process further the events related to the attack.
  6. Urge the Central and Provincial Governments to act pro-actively in solving the conflict in Nduga;
  7. Urge for the establishment of a Joint Fact Finding Team (TPFG) to collect evidence and facts, process and effects of the joint operations date July 11, 2018;
  8. The Papua Police Chief should explain in a comprehensive and transparent the law enforcement operation in Nduga to the public.

Jayapura, July 13, 2018

Contact:

Pdt Dora Balubun: 0813 1572 2242

Yohanis Mambrasar: 0812 2161 1871

Mulfisar: 0811 4806 114

We who expressed our solidarity: PAPUA PAHAM, LBH PAPUA, PBH CENDERAWASIH, SKPKC Franciscan Papua, JPIC SINODE GKI in TANAH PAPUA, ALDP, PMKRI BRANCH JAYAPURA, UNITED TO TRUTH (BUK), GARDA PAPUA, INDEPENDENT FORUM STUDENTS (FIM) WEST PAPUA, GempaR PAPUA, WALHI PAPUA, LBH Justice and Peace Papua.

translated by TAPOL

Tagged: Brimob