On September 18th 2014, a conflict ensued between the tribes of Ibele and Lani Jaya in the district of Jayawijaya in the highlands of Papua over a stolen motorcycle. Members of the local police were present during the attack of the Ibele tribe against the Lani Jaya tribe and also during the subsequent revenge action but failed to protect the community by simply watching and not intervening, even as the crowd burned down the house of local community leader Areki Wanimbo. At one point, members of the police started to randomly shoot live ammunition into the crowd. 18-year old Kukes Wandikbo was shot in the shoulder/neck area and is still in a critical condition.
Remains of Areki Wanimbo’s house Kukes Wandikbo in hospital (Photos: local activist)
A human rights defender wanting to visit Wandikbo in the hospital asked to see the victim with the shotwound. Hospital personnel said that no person with shotwounds had been admitted, only victims with wounds caused by arrows. During the tribal conflict, the men had used traditional weapons such as bows and arrows. Upon meeting Wandikbo, it became clear however, that the wound in his neck had been caused by a firearm. Wandikbo said that a policeman had shot him from a distance of approximately 20 metres and that he could clearly recognise the face of the shooter. His family said that they had told the local police that Wandikbo could identify the perpetrator but that the police had not responded so far.