Two indigenous Papuans disappeared in Pegunungan Bintang

Two Papuan men have mysteriously disappeared in the Serambakon District of Pegunungan Bintang Regency (see photos below, source: Suara Papua). Mr Jekson Sitokmabin, 20, and Mr Asven Kasipmaben, 17, both originating from the Seramkatop Village, were walking home from work at the construction site of a military post in Serambakon. Both men have been missing since they walked back home on the evening of 18 May 2021. Neither the police nor the military, nor the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) has commented on the incident.

While the TPN PB publicly declared that its combatants do not attack civilians, the armed group has repeatedly killed civilians suspected of working or cooperating with Indonesian security forces. Observers fear that Mr Sitokmabin and Mr Kasipmabin have been forcefully disappeared by either conflict party.

The Serambakon district has become a hot spot of armed conflict in the Pegunungan Bintang Regency throughout the past years. The most recent outbreak of armed violence in Serambakon occurred on 18 May 2021. A group of twelve soldiers came under fire as they crossed a bridge in the Yapimakot Village. TPN PB fighters injured four soldiers during the ambush.

2 Papuans disappreared Pegunungan Bintang edit