Church asks military and insurgent not to fight in residential areas

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Jayapura, Jubi – The Coordinator of Justice and Peace of KINGMI Church for Puncak Jaya Region, the Rev. Deserius Adii S.Th, said one congregation was shot dead while three others were injured in Sinai Opitawak, Kampung Banti, Tembagapura sub-district.

“Timothy Omabak was killed and three were injured,” said Adii by phone from Timika on Wednesday (4/4/2018)

He said the incident happened when the Indonesian Military and Police joint force pursued the members of the Papua Liberation Army in Banti village, Tembagapura sub-district of Mimika District, Papua on Wednesday (4/4/2018). He further explained that at the time, the congregations of Sinai Church in Opitawak have gathered in the yard. They raised the red-and-white flags and their hands to indicate that they were not part of the insurgents, but the troop acted brutally.

“They raised their hands but the joint force came and tortured the people, and Timotius got shot,” he said.

He further said the body of the victim, who was a civil servant of Tembagapura sub-district, was buried at 12 p.m. The villagers have moved to the forest to avoid the joint force that takes a control over the village.

In regards to this incident, Adiie urged the Indonesian security force and the Papua Liberation Army to find a war zone. Do not open the fire in the people’s settlement, moreover in the church area. “We hope they do not enter the civilian area, our congregations’ area. Civilians cannot be the scapegoat,” he said.

However, the Indonesian Military stated the victim Omabak was a member of the separatist group. As quoted by Antara News Agency, the Indonesian Military estimated three insurgents died during a firefight, two was dead during on Sunday evening, whiled, one died in a firefight occurred on Wednesday morning at around 10:15 pm, in the area around Opitawak Village. The name of the last victim was Timothy Omabak.

“During the first gunfire, we knew about the victims from the picture taken from the drone, and we found the body of an insurgent who identified as Timothy Omabak in the location,” said the Head of Information of the Military Command XVII / Cenderawasih, Colonel Inf. Muhammad Aidi in Timika. (*)


Reporter: Benny Mawel

Editor: Pipit Maizier