Human Rights Commission visits internally displaced persons in Puncak

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The Papuan representative office of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) has visited internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Puncak regency (see photo on top, source: Jubi). The head of the Komnas HAM representative office in Papuan, Frits Ramandey, confirmed in an interview with media outlet Jubi that 3,019 IDPs from 23 villages are currently living in Puncak’s largest town Ilaga and the town of Gome. The refugees originate from nine villages in the Ilaga Utara District, four villages in the Ilaga District, five villages in the Gome District, and five villages in the Gome Utara District. They have fled their homes (see photo below, source: JPIC Kingmi Papua) since Indonesian security forces launched a widespread operation against the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) in the Puncak Regency in late April 2021.

According to Ramandey, there are two major problems that IDPs in Puncak are currently facing. First, they have difficulties accessing clean water. Moreover, there are not enough health workers in Puncak available to provide medical aid to the IDPs. “There must be additional medical personnel help the IDPs seeking shelter in the Districts Ilaga and Gome”, said Ramandey. He urged the Papuan Provincial Government to support the local government in Puncak in handling the IDP situation.

Frits Ramadey also explained that he had also met with a TPN PB commander. The TPN PB had reportedly agreed to ensure the safety of all villagers if they return to their villages. Ramandey explained that the security situation in several districts had recovered, so IDPs would soon be able to return to their homes. Komnas HAM is available to assist the local government in arranging the re-location of the IDPs to their homes, said Ramandey.

IDPs fleeing to the town of Ilaga, Puncak Regency (source: JPIC Kingmi Papua)

IDPs flee to Ilaga