Update on IDP situation in Gome, Puncak Regency – number of IDPs raise to 1.500

Since 24 August 2019, joint security forces have raided multiple villages in the Gome district of Puncak Regency, Papua Province. The security force operations have forced indigenous villagers in the Gome district to flee their villages. Initial reports from 26 August 2019 estimated that approximately 800 indigenous Papuans had been internally displaced and sought refuge in temporary shelters in Yenggernok Village. According to information dated 5 September 2019, the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Yenggernok have risen to more than 1.500 persons, originating from eleven villages. Security forces reportedly carried out raids in eight of the villages, namely Kelanungin, Upaga, Tegelobak, Misimaga, Niggibuma, Agome, Gome, and Yenggegolawi. The security force members allegedly seized gardening tools and killed pig livestock.

Volunteers from Yenggernok helping in their village stated that they do not have enough food for the IDPs. Food supplies donated by the Gome Sub-district police, the local health centre (Puskesmas), the Women Empowerment Agency and the Social Affairs Agency in Puncak had already diminished since 5 September 2019. The IDPs stated that the condition in the village is still tense due to heavy security force presence. The villagers have to report to security forces if they want to go to their gardens to harvest sweet potatoes and other vegetables. The security force members permitted only a limited number of women to collect the crops.