Bloodshed in Intan Jaya continues - Military members kill high school student

Military members have again killed a young Papuan in the Intan Jaya Regency. According to media information, members of the Raider 715/MTL Infantry Battalion shot dead 17-year-old Melianus Nayagau in the village of Puyagia, Sugapa District, on 6 March 2020. The body was brought to Bilogai Town on 7 March 2021 (see photo, source: Suara Papua). Shortly after the incident, an unknown number of indigenous families in Puyagia reportedly fled their homes and sought shelter in the surrounding forests. Three internally displaced persons (IDPs) reportedly sustained injuries because they fell during the escape.

A military representative declared that Melianus Nayagau was associated with the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) and claimed that people in Puyagia did not know Melianus. The Head of the Joint Regional Defense Command III (Kogabwilhan III) public relations department, Colonel Suriastawa, alleged that his men encountered four TPN PB members carrying weapons near Puyagia. Melianus was allegedly killed during a subsequent exchange of fire. The victim’s parents and Intan Jaya parliament member, Oktovianus Wandikbo, declared that Melianus was not associated with the TPN PB and was still enrolled to the SMP Negeri 1 Sugapa junior high school.

Melianus Nayagau is already the fifth indigenous civilian who military members have killed in Intan Jaya since January 2021. On 15 February 2021, military members allegedly killed the three brothers Janius Bagau, 26, Yustinus Bagau, 20, and Sony Bagau,16, inside a public health centre in Sugapa. Shortly after the incident, military members again killed a disabled Papuan named Donatus Mirip in the village of Ndugusiga, Sugapa District, on 27 February 2021.