Update on armed conflict in Puncak Regency – TPN PB suggests armed combat shifts to designated area

The West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) has proposed to Indonesian security forces to move the armed conflict into a designated area to prevent civilian casualties and reduce the stresses for indigenous civilians living in the Puncak Regency. The TPN PB spokesperson, Sebby Sambom, suggested the Puncak estuary in the Ilaga District as the new combat area. According to Sambom, the TPN PB has gathered its guerrilla groups in the estuary area, where they wait for Indonesian security forces to move in.

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Indonesia votes against UN resolution on genocide and crimes against humanity

Indonesia and 14 other countries have voted against a UN Resolution on the responsibility to protect and prevent (R2P) genocide, war crimes, ethnic genocide and crimes against humanity during a vote at the United Nations General Assembly on 18 May 2021. One-hundred-fifteen countries supported the resolution, while 28 states chose to abstain (see list of shame below, source: UN Watch). The R2P concept represents an international principle and agreement to prevent genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. The Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry affirmed that Indonesia in principle agrees with the substance of the resolution but rejects a proposal to establish a new annual agenda for discussing the P2P.

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New protests against special autonomy and for the release of Papuan political prisoners – 146 protesters arrested in Manokwari

Last week, hundreds of people from the Papua Barat province came together to join two public demonstrations in the city of Manokwari, the provincial capital of Papua Barat. Joint security forces dispersed the protest on 25 May 2021 -146 protesters were arrested and temporarily detained. The police claimed some protesters violated COVID-19 health protocols. The Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) and The Indonesia Peoples Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) organised peaceful protests in the Javanese cities Bandung, Jakarta, Malang and Jember. The rally in Malang was reportedly followed by violence between Papuan students and nationalist counter groups.  Protesters in Jember were allegedly intimidated by nationalist groups. All protests expressed disagreement with the continuation of the Papuan special autonomy funding and demanded the immediate release of all Papuan political prisoners.

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West Papua Council of Churches voices concern over the escalating situation in Papua

The West Papua Council of Churches (WPCC) recently reached out to President Jokowi, the Commander of the Indonesian National Armed Forces and expressed condolences to the victims of violence on both sides of the ongoing armed conflict. The WPCC sees the causes of the problems in Papua in the 'colonial gaze' with which Papua is often being looked at by Indonesian officials; the systematic destruction of a Papuan identity with history including the burning of ethnohistoric and political writings on Papua in the past and the labelling of the OPM as a terrorist organisation in a context of impunity for gross human rights violations committed against the Papuan people. The criminalisation of the OPM as terrorists and the military approach, the WPCC fears, will cause thousands of more killings of Papuans, has caused IDPs and destroyed critical political thought in Papua. WPCC calls on President Jokowi to fulfil his promise to meet with the ULMWP. While supporting the rights of Palestinians and Rohingyas, the Indonesian government labels the OPM a terrorist group while the OPM has not targeted churches, malls or train stations. The WPCC points out that there is no evidence the OPM engages in such attacks and warns of the risk that such attacks may in the future even be caused by Indonesian security forces in order to then falsely blame the OPM and prevent international human rights monitoring.

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Update on Internet breakdown in Jayapura – Internet connection planned to be repaired in early June

On 21 May 2021, the Ministry for Communication and Informatics released a press statement (number 180/HM/KOMINFO/05/2021), according to which the internet connection in Jayapura has been partly re-established since 21 May 2021. However, the General Manager of Telkom Witel Papua, Sugeng Widodo, explained that the internet bandwidth is still very limited and only available in a few public places and essential institutions such as hospitals and government offices. Therefore, Jayapura-based journalists and media outlets are supposed to use a media centre set up at the Witel Papua head office in Jayapura.

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Update on prosecution of Victor Yeimo – TAPOL reports case to UN Special Procedures

The London-based human rights organisation TAPOL has reported the arrest of Victor Yeimo, the international spokesperson of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), to the Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council. Yeimo was arrested on 9 May 2021 and is currently detained at the Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) headquarters in Jayapura, Papua Province. The police believe Victor Yeimo played a significant role in organising and leading protests against the racial discrimination of ethnic Papuans and for self-determination in 23 towns across West Papua and 17 cities in Indonesia between 19 August and 30 September 2019.

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Six Papuan protesters standing trial in Sorong accused of treason

On 18 May 2021, judges at the Sorong District Court launched two trials against six Papuan defendants (see photo, source: LBH Kaki Abu) who had been arrested on 27 November 2020 during a peaceful demonstration in Sorong. People had gathered with Morning star flags and banners peacefully calling upon the Indonesian Government to recognize the proclamation of the Republic of West Papua New Guinea by a Papuan independence group at the European Parliament in Brussels on 27 November 1997.

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Joint security forces arrest three IDPs in Puncak, among them one minor

According to the Papuan media outlet Suara Papua, joint security forces arrested three indigenous Papuans on 16 May 2021. The arrest reportedly occurred in the Tanah Merah Village, where 16-year-old Nelius Magai, Jon Waker, 30, and Ones Magai, 30, had fled after being displaced from their homes in the Tegelobak Village. They have been detained at the Gome Military Post in the Puncak Regency, where a widespread security force operation has been ongoing since late April 2021 (see photo).

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New shootings indicate spreading of armed conflict in West Papua

Recent armed attacks on Indonesian security forces in the regencies Maybrat, Yahukimo and Pegunungan Bintang over the past weeks indicate the armed conflict is spreading to new regencies in West Papua. While isolated armed clashes have been reportedly occurred in Pegunungan Bintang and Yahukimo throughout 2020, the recent attack against police officers in Maybrat is the first incident of this kind reported from the regency.

The armed conflict recently gained momentum, as members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) killed Papuan Security Chief I Gusti Putu Danny Nugraha Karya in the Puncak Regency on 25 April 2021. A few days later, joint security forces launched a massive operation in Puncak (see photo), which reportedly caused the internal displacement of thousands of indigenous villagers.

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Update on situation of IDPs in Puncak Regency – Local government says thousands displaced due armed clashes

Papuan media outlet Suara Papua has published new data on internally displaced persons in the Puncak Regency, where Indonesian security forces have launched a widespread operation against the West Papua National Liberation Army since 27 April 2021. According to the Social Affairs Department in Puncak, 653 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are currently seeking shelter at the local government complex in Puncak’s largest town of Kimak (see photo, source: Suara Papua). Thousands of indigenous villagers from the Mabugi and Ilaga Utara districts are believed to hide in churches and the forests.

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More Articles...

  1. Victim of torture dies in Tambrauw Regency – Observers demand independent investigation
  2. Again internet breakdown as armed conflict escalates – Coincidence or deliberate government measure?
  3. Westpapua-Netzwerk fears further violence in WP due to the "terrorist" categorisation
  4. KNPB Spokesperson Victor Yeimo arrested and charged with treason
  5. What about Jokowi’s promise to open access for foreign journalists to West Papua?
  6. SAFEnet suspects internet disruptions in West Papua are deliberate
  7. Further armed clashes cause more internal displacement in Puncak Regency
  8. What’s wrong with the education and healthcare system in West Papua? A case study in Yalimo provides insights
  9. Police press charges against Papuan student for social media post
  10. Papuan man arrested for alleged weapon trade – Lawyers rise allegation of torture against police
  11. First effects of Govt’s terrorist label for Papuan armed groups - Papuan student organisation in Bali stigmatised as terrorists
  12. Indigenous communities demand the stop of construction of military command and immediate withdrawal of military in Tambrauw
  13. Indonesian Govt labelling Papuan resistance groups as terrorists earns widespread criticism
  14. Indonesian Government labels Papuan armed separatist groups as terrorists
  15. Military operation in Puncak causes internal displacement - Jakarta continues deployment of additional troops
  16. TPN PB kills Papua Intelligence Chief in Puncak Regency – Human rights observers fear further military raids
  17. Verdict in trial against political activist – Judges sentence Soon Tabuni to 1 year and € 57,000 fine
  18. Journalist in West Papua subjected to intimidation – Activists urge the police to prosecute perpetrators
  19. New Report on Deforestation in West Papua - Highest levels of deforestation occurred under Jokowi Government
  20. Public order police prohibit peaceful assembly and intimidates protesters in Deiyai
  21. Law enforcement process against 2 Papuan students in Jakarta – Judge rules arrest in accordance with criminal procedure code
  22. Human Rights Update West Papua - 1st Quarter 2021
  23. Minister says previous Government responsible for massive deforestation in West Papua – NGOs demand action against illegal palm oil businesses
  24. Police officers torture Papuan during custody in Nabire
  25. West Papua Council of Churches asks the MSG to accept ULMWP's membership
  26. Greenpeace publishes revealing report on deforestation in West Papua
  27. Soldiers torture Papuan man in Tambrauw Regency - Residents demand the withdrawal of military
  28. Resistance fighters execute two teachers and a pupil in Puncak Regency
  29. West Papua Council of Churches: President Widodo should meet the Papua pro-referendum group
  30. Security force members shoot dead Papuan gold panner in Mimika Regency