TPN PB kills Papua Intelligence Chief in Puncak Regency – Human rights observers fear further military raids

Members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) have shot dead the Papua Intelligence Chief, I Gusti Putu Danny Nugraha Karya. The shooting occurred on 25 April 2021, as the intelligence chief visited the village of Dambet in the Beoga District of Puncak Regency, Papua Province. The TPN PB officially claimed responsibility for the killing. During a public speech on 26 April 2021, President Joko Widodo ordered the military and police to arrest all perpetrators responsible for the killings in the Beoga District. Human rights observers are concerned that the military will soon conduct more raids in the Puncak Regency. Past security force operations in Puncak and other conflict areas have been frequently accompanied by extra-judicial killings, torture and internal displacement of the indigenous population.

The incident is only one in a series of killings that have recently taken place in the Puncak Regency. Papuan resistance fighters killed two teachers and a senior high school student in the districts Beoga and Ilaga in the first half of April 2021 – the TPN PB claims that the victims were working with the police and army. 

Shortly before the incident, the only doctor in Beoga District and all teachers of non-Papuan descent sough shelters in larger Papuan towns like Timika and Jayapura. As of 23 April 2021, the health centre and all schools in the area are closed. The TPN PB has reportedly burnt down some school buildings. While most children cannot attend school, the local teachers are trying to find solutions for those who are supposed to participate in the national exams this year. According to one of the health workers in Beoga, many patients in Beoga are now cut off from accessing medical treatment. The majority of them suffer Upper Respiratory Infections and diarrhoea.

According to media sources, all commercial flights to Puncak's largest town, Ilaga, have been cancelled, and all Government offices closed. Local informants stated that public life in Ilaga has calmed down, and people avoid public places like the market. Several police and military choppers have reportedly left Ilaga in the direction of the Ilaga Utara District. Observers assume that the police and military are currently preparing a security force operation against the TPN PB.