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 (TPNPB) has intensified since late October 2021. An internally displaced villager named Apollo Belau (29 years) was reportedly injured by a bullet as he was standing in front of a shelter for internally displaced persons (IDPs) on 5 November 2021. Military officials later claimed that Mr Belau was affiliated with the TPN PB. On 9 November 2021, indigenous woman Agustina Ondou (24 years) sustained two bullet injuries during a firefight in the Mamba Village. In both cases, the victims and relatives say that security force members indiscriminately opened fire at them.
Agustina Ondou was shot around 10:00 am, as she was walking home from the local market in Yokatapa. The site of crime is located near a military post in the Mamba Village. Mrs Ondou sustained a bullet injury in the right waist and a tangential hit on the right temple (see photos below, source YKKMP). She was brought to a health centre in the Yokatapa village and was later flown to a hospital in Timika the following day. The Intan Jaya District Police Chief, AKBP Sandi Sultan, apologised for another civilian being injured during the firefights. However, he did not elaborate on who released the shots.
Continuous shootings have caused further internal displacements and prevented IDPs in Sugapa from returning to their homes. According to media sources, 5.859 IDPs from the Sugapa District sought shelter in churches after the armed conflict re-erupted in Sugapa on 26 October 2021. As of 10 October 2021, about 3,000 IDPs stayed in the temporary shelters, while IDPs from the villages Wandoga, Bilogai, Kumblagupa and Yokatapa have reportedly returned their homes. On 11 November, the local military commander and the regent of Intan Jaya called upon the IDPs in Sugapa to return to their homes.
According to local observers, the villages Mamba and Sambili have been abandoned since 26 October. Government data indicates that approximately 2,800 residents inhabit the two villages. The IDPs are still hesitant to return to their homes. They are afraid of the ongoing firefights and heavy security force presence in Sugapa.
Armed clashes between Indonesian security forces and the TPN PB in Sugapa on 26 October 2021 resulted in the death of a two-year-old infant, Melpianus Sondegau. Another minor named Yoakim Majau, 6, sustained a bullet injury during the incident. Further firefights were reported from Suagapa on 29 and 30 October 2021.
Images showing the crime site from bird view (top) and the evacuation of Ms Ondou to the health centre in Yokatapa (bottom).