Human rights defenders in Intan Jaya have documented the alleged killing of Bernadus Bagau (see photo: independent human rights defenders). According to information received, Bernadus Bagau disappeared during a firefight between Indonesian security forces and members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) in Intan Jaya’s largest town Sugapa on 29 October 2021. Relatives had repeatedly searched for the body or other hints pointing to his whereabouts. The body was eventually discovered on 16 November 2021 in a garden in Sugapa.
Bernadus Bagau was reportedly killed by a bullet. The exact cause of death was not confirmed through an autopsy. The relatives decided to burry the remains on the following day because the body had partly decomposed (see photo below, source: independent human rights defenders). It is currently uncertain whether Bernadus Bagau was killed by security force members or TPN PB fighters.
Intan Jaya has become one of the top hot spots of the violent conflict in West Papua throughout 2020 and 2021. Two indigenous Papuans reportedly sustained bullet injuries during recent shootings in the Sugapa District of Intan Jaya Regency, where the armed conflict between Indonesian security forces and the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) has intensified since late October 2021.
The armed clashes caused the internal displacement of additional 5,800 persons in the Suagapa district, most of them indigenous Papuans. They have reportedly sought shelter in multiple churches. As of November 2020, the total number of IDPs from Intan Jaya was estimated to be approximately 13,000 people, many of whom have not returned to their villages since being displaced.
The armed conflict has become more violent than in previous years. It has cost the lives of ten security force members and five TPN PB members between January 2020 and mid November 2021 in Intan Jaya alone. Statistics illustrate nine civilian deaths at the hands of either security forces or TPN PB combatants since January 2021. These figures exclude the number of civilians who have died due to stresses during conflict-related internal displacements.