Joint security forces allegedly kill indigenous Papuan during crowd control operation in Jayawijaya Regency

A mob violence on 6 June 2018 between villagers from Wouma and the neighboring village Welesi has resulted in the killing of Pinggiget Murib (see image on the left). Both groups used stones and traditional weapons such as bow and arrows. The clashes stopped after joint security forces had forcefully intervened. One officer from the police mobile brigade special unit and a military officer were wounded during the attempt to disperse the crowd with tear gas and fire arms. The independent Papuan media outlet ‘Tabloid Jubi’ published a witness testimony according to which Pinggiget Murib died as a result of severe bullet injuries which he sustained during the crowd control operation. The chief of Jayawijaya district police denied the allegations, stating that Pinggiget Murib had sustained lethal injuries caused by stones. The victim’s family demanded a compensation payment of 30 pigs and three billion rupiahs from the Jayawijaya regional government.

The horizontal conflict occurred in response to the harassment of a villager from Welesi. A group of young men from Wouma intercepted him as he was driving his  motor cycle. They collectively beat the villager and subsequently stole his motor cycle. The following day the victim reported the theft to the local police, so several police officers went to Wouma Village to conduct an investigation. However, when the Welesi villagers found out that the police officers had only brought back the motor cycle but did not arrested any of the perpetrators, they decided to punish the perpetrators themselves. The mob violence forced many families in Wouma to leave their homes because they feared acts of revenge.