Indigenous communities demand the stop of construction of military command and immediate withdrawal of military in Tambrauw

The Indonesian government will continue building the KODIM 1810 military district command in Kowoor, Tambrauw Regency, despite the many protests against it. This was announced by members of the local parliament on 17 April 2021. With this action, the government is ignoring the many voices against the expansion of military facilities. The first reactions against the military base took place over a year ago, and since then, there have been multiple cases of military violence against indigenous community members in Tambrauw. The most recent case was documented on 9 April 2021, as two members of the Pamrahwan Yonif RK 763 military post tortured a Papuan man in the village of Wayo. Indigenous land rights in Tambrauw have claimed that their land was handed over to the military without their free, prior, informed consent (FPIC).

Following the incident, the local parliament met with military representatives and recommended withdrawing the Pamrahwan Yonif RK 763 task force from the Tambrauw Regency within one week. However, the military did not respond to the recommendation. According to a press release by the Forum for Youth, Students and Customary Communities Against Violence in Tambrauw dating 26 April 2021, the military task force was still deployed and had not been transferred. During a peaceful demonstration in the town of Fef (see photo), the forum demanded an immediate withdrawal of all military from Fef, which is the capital of Tambrauw Regency. It declared it would launch further protests if the military does not react to their demands.

Other civil society groups asked the local Government to reconsider their decision to build the military district command in Tambrauw and focus on developing health, education and fundamental infrastructure in rural areas.