Allegations of enforced disappearance in Nduga Regency – Two indigenous leaders missing after military operation

The Foundation for Justice and Integrity of the Papuan People (YKKMP) has documented a further case of enforced disappearance in the village of Kiyabikma, Mbulmu Yalma District of Nduga Regency. Tepania Wasiangge, 44, and Anle Gwijangge, 28, both village leaders in Kiyabikma, were arrested on 28 September 2020 in Gurukwarak Hamlet, as military members ambushed a house that they suspected was a hide-out for members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB). Multiple witnesses saw that the military members arrested and gagged both men, handcuffed them and repeatedly hit them with a wooden stick. Subsequently, the soldiers brought them to the forest, where the military members had established a temporary camp at the Bigam Mountain near the Gunmo River.

Remains bones site of crimeAfter the incident, relatives and villagers tried in vain to find Tepania Wasiangge and Anle Gwijangge. A fact-finding team, comprising of residents, relatives, local lawmakers and YKKMP members found indications that the military members executed both men, burned their bodies and hid the remains. The team found a necklace that belonged to one of the victims as well as bones likely to be human remains (see image on the right, source: YKKMP) in a hut, which the military members had burnt to the ground (see image on top, source: YKKMP). Local villagers had built the hut as a shelter for people who were hunting or gardening. The team found used medical equipment and food containers from the military unit near the site of crime (see image below, source: YKKMP). The team also found several corrugated iron sheets which they believe were used to transport the human remains to a different location.

 

Remains medical equippmentA military report about the incident dated 10 October 2020 mentions that a group consisting of three military units allegedly saw one of the men carrying a pistol. The military members claimed that both men were TPN PB members. According to the report, one man was shot dead in an exchange of fire while the other was able to escape. Witnesses who were interviewed by YKKMP stated that they saw both men shortly before the arrest carrying a machete and a traditional net bag with a wallet inside.