IDPs situation in Maybrat Regency – Observers estimate number of IDPs rises to 3,000

Local observers have estimated that the number of IDPs in the Maybrat Regency has risen to almost 3,000. Shortly after the killing of four military members on 2 September 2021 in the Kisor Village, an estimated number of 2,000 people from eight villages in the Aifat Selatan District and three neighbouring districts reportedly fled their homes in fear of military raids. Meanwhile, the number of affected villages in Aifat Selatan has reportedly grown to at least 16 villages (see list below) in Aifat Selatan alone. New displacements were reported from the Aitinyo District. Some IDPs sought shelter in the villages Susmuk, Aitinyo and Sabun, while most IDPs built temporary shelters in the jungle (see photos on bottom, source: independent human rights defenders).

Most IDPs left their belongings behind and abandoned their gardens and animals when they fled into the forest. The children in Aifat have not attended school since the attack on the Kisor Military Post. According to information received, some IDPs are sick or injured without accessing health services (see photo below, source: independent human rights defenders).

injured SchoolteacherMeanwhile, the number of deployed military personnel in Maybrat allegedly raised to 400 personnel. The military erected new checkpoints on the main connecting roads, where army members control passing villagers and search their luggage. They are seizing traditional weapons and gardening tools from the people.

The security force members continue to target members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). The KNPB is a civil resistance movement promoting the right to self-determination through peaceful means. KNPB leaders have repeatedly denied the involvement of their members in the attack on the Kisor military post. As of now, no hints or evidence are pointing at the involvement of the KNPB in the armed attack. Moreover, the armed resistance group West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) has publicly claimed responsibility for the killings.

The Manokwari Institute for Research, Analysis and Development of Legal Aid (LP3BH Manokwari) called upon the Sorong Selatan Police Chief, Choiruddin Wahid, to ensure full access to legal counsel for Maikel Yaam and Simon Waymbewer. Military members arrested them on 2 September around 3.00 pm in Kisor Village. As of 9 September 2021, neither the military nor the police have commented on the arrest of the two villagers. Maikel Yaam and Simon Waymbewer are believed to be detained at the Sorong Selatan District Police Headquarters.

LP3BH Manokwari's Director and spokesperson of the Papuan Peace Network (JDP), Yan Kristian Warinussi, called upon President Joko Widodo to stop the military raids in Maybrat and seek a peaceful solution to the long-lasting conflict in West Papua. Warinussi urged the local government in Maybrat to take immediate action and ensure access to medical treatment and humanitarian aid for the IDPs, particularly the displaced women and children.   

Villages in the Aifat Selatan District where people have fled their homes in fear of military raids:

1.    Kisor Village
2.    Krus Village
3.    Imsun Village
4.    Asiaf Saman Village
5.    Fuog Village
6.    Fuog Selatan Village
7.    Sorry, Village
8.    Roma Village
9.    Tolak Village
10.    Kaitana Village
11.    Yeek Village
12.    Same Rakator Village
13.    Sanem Village
14.    Tahsimara Village
15.    Hora Iek Village
16.    Awet Main Village

Maybrat IDPs 5

Maybrat IDPs 2

Maybrat IDPs 1