Security disturbances in Yapen: Stop Blaming the OPM

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Bintang Papua

Serui: Following a number of violent incidents that have occurred in Yapen Island, the security forces have conduced sweepings along the coast and in Kanawa Kampung to see whether the OPM was involved.

Ferinando Worabai, the commander of a guerilla unit of the TPNPB-OPM, told Bintang Papua a short while ago that the local administration and local security units are responsible for these activities although the TPN-OPM has been blamed even though there is no evidence that these crimes were committed by the OPM.

Worabai said that conditions in the island of Yapen has been quite tranquil recently but reports have been circulating about the occurrence of several incidents which appear to have been deliberately talked up by the police such as the 'pasir hitam' incident, the Ankaisera incident and the sweepings that occurred in Pantura.

'Before speaking to Bintang Papua about this, I said that there was no evidence to show that indigenous Papuans or indeed the general Papuan community are now afraid of the OPM. This is because we have not conducted any acts of violence against the community and the people as a whole know this to be true. The local administration, especially the police, are responsible for all these activities. The police have quite deliberately linked all this with the OPM.'

Worabai said that until recently, everything has been calm in Yapen but in the last few weeks allegations have been made that these incidents were deliberately provoked by the police.This includes the 'pasir hitam'
incident, the Angkaisera incident and the sweepings that were carried out in Pantura.

He said that the headquarters of the TPN-OPM are based in the forests, not in the cities or kampungs, which is what the administration and the police have alleged. He urged the police to stop doing things that have an unwarranted impact on local communities who know nothing whatsoever about these incidents.

''I would like to repeat that we are fully aware of the limits of the law. Our bases are in the forests which means that any sweepings by the police should not be conducted in the cities or the kampungs.

As for the public notices that have been appearing about wanted men (DPO), he cautioned the police to act with greater care. The DPOs to which they refer are not members of the guerilla units of the TPN-OPM which are under his command. Before taking any action, the police should try to collect reliable information so as to avoid taking unwarranted action that is damaging to the general public.

With regard to the sweepings that have been conducted by the police in several kampungs, Ferinando said this simply doesn't make sense because it is not what the police should be doing. What they should be doing is providing protection and guidance to the people. by means of persuasion to resolve these matters.'The police should be protecting the community and not oppressing people . The TNI and the police force must take responsibility together with the local administration. They should not take any violent actions against the Papuan people. If violence is used, no one should be surprised if the Papuan people to refuse to see themselves as being part of the Indonesian people.'

[Translated with difficulty by TAPOL because of some of wording in this article has been difficult to follow]