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On the future of Freeport, MAI insisted: “close it, audit then talks”

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Press conference of Independent Indigenous Peoples (MAI) at LBH Jakarta, 2nd April 2017, Ronny Nakiaya (L), Nico Kanungguk (M), Adolfina Kuum (R) – Supplied

Jayapura, Jubi – Independent Indigenous Peoples (MAI) representing the Amungme and Kamoro tribes still assert its position demanding PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) to be closed  and audited. For them it is a requirement to discuss the future of PT FI.

“Our position is clear; do not talk about divestment, etc. Close Freeport, audit the wealth, and audit the entire company, only then tripartite negotiation or other forms is possible. The audit should also be conducted by an international audit team,” said Ronny Nakiaya MAI spokesman to Jubi, Sunday (04/02/2017) after a press conference at the Office of the Legal Aid Institute (LBH), Jakarta.

That is also their response concerning the approval of PT. Freeport to change its status from Contract of Work (KK) into a Special Mining Business License (IUPK) as required by the GOI if Freeport wants to resume exports of concentrates.

For the MAI, the approval does not change much because since the beginning they were not being involved to discuss the future of the company.

Mama Ema Magal gave her speech in a demonstration to close Freeport in Timika March 20th 2017 – supplied

“We are victims, why is the government (local and central) never seeing the problems we experienced and facilitate talk, everyone has their own interest. The real problem is there are no solutions to the grassroots, “he said.

In the history of investment of PT. Freeport Indonesia, pros and cons of various interests always apparent.

The interests represent central government, local government, indigenous institutions, indigenous Amungme and Kamoro, and groups of students and intellectual movement.

Early March, one of the figure of Kamoro in Mimika who are victims of Freeport’s tailings, Mathea Mamoyau told Jubi that all parties in Papua devided when they talk about Freeport.

The Secretary of First Commission of Papua House Representative said, all components should sit together to make a decision.

According to her, firs and foremost perception need to be integrated. “Then to meet central government to discuss the points that must be accommodated in the interests of Papuans.”

7th April Protest Action

Following simultaneous actions to ‘Close Freeport’ on March 20, groups of students and intellectuals as well as the Independent Indigenous Peoples (MAI) will again go to streety on 7th April to demand Freeport to be closed, audit, and then the future of its operation determine by the indigenous peoples themselves.

April 7th is the day of 50 years since the first Contract of Work of PT. Freeport Indonesia been signed with the Indonesian government in 1967.

Protest action in Jayapura March 20th to close Freeport – Supplied

“For the grassroots will no longer be the victim of a compromise with PT Freeport Indonesia, because we want to become masters in our land of West Papua,” said Ronny Nakiaya.

The demonstration was supported by Indonesia People’s Front for West Papua (FRI West Papua), Alliance of Papuan Students (AMP), and the United Front of Students to Close Freeport across several provinces in Indonesia.(*)

Reporter: Zely Ariane

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The story of Nduga refugees: Mother died while giving birth to her child

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Refugees in Nduga – Jubi/Doc

Nduga, Jubi – On Wednesday (9/1/2019), the sixteen-years-old Inambo Tabuni just arrived in Wamena, and she told her story in a refugee camp. 

Soldiers came by helicopter; a bomb dropped into the village.

People fled to the forest to save their lives. Many parents were separated with their children, while those who’re in refugee camp feel grateful that they can run away,” she recounted the incident occurred in the mid-December 2018.

The refugees take shelter in provisional tents and caves in the forest. They have insufficient food to eat. Men took a risk walking dozens of kilometres to reach gardens. They gathered sweet potatoes and taros from the garden in the night.

It helped us to stand for two or three days. After that, men will return to the garden and come back in the night,” she said.

According to her refugees are distributed into small groups to a big group. “Each group contains at least ten people or more.”

She also revealed their suffering living in a refugee camp. “It seems that we are living in someone else’s place. We want to live safely in our village.”

When she arrived in Mbua from Dal, a pregnant woman Selfina Lokbere (32 years old) just came from a refugee camp, and last week Lokbere reportedly had a delivery complication. Both mother and child died.

Selfina Lokbere, who was the wife of Yakerena Umangge, reportedly gave birth to twins. Her first twin managed to be smoothly born, while the second got stuck during delivery.

The second child did not come out, so the mother tried to pull her baby out, but she couldn’t make it.”

Meanwhile, Elinaus Tabuni, a member of the health care team of Papua Province in Mbua Sub-district, Nduga Regency, confirmed the incident that occurred on 2 January 2019.  

This woman just arrived from the forest and gave birth. She had only a child who died with her during the delivery,” he said.

Further, the congregation of Imanuel Church of Mbua takes care of the funeral of Selfina Lokbere and her child, while the medical team checked the rest of her family. It turns out that she has other six children who are still alive. They are Esok Umangge (7), Londice Umangge (8), Ason Umangge (9), Jemison Umangge (3), and the twins Rinthi dan Rentha (2,6). Currently, the twins of the late Selfina Lokbere, Rinthi and Rentha then raised by Gelipa Tabuni, their mother’s relative.

In the meantime, locals said the cause of her death is because she didn’t eat and drink well while in the refugee camp, whereas the medical team thought it’s possibly because of her giving birth too often.

Meanwhile, related to Nduga refugees, the Secretary of Youth Church Solidarity Alfonsa Wayap said three children were reported dead in refugee camp due to malnutrition. The children Ubugina Unue (2), Bugun Unue (1) and Raina Kogoya (5) died in Yal Sub-district.

The local also said there are ten pregnant women among them. “Some already give births while some are waiting for the due date.” (*)

 

Reporter: Benny Mawel

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Current conditions of Nduga refugees: getting sick, trauma and injuries

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Women and children in Yigi Sub-district come to the central of sub-district from refugee camp to meet the evacuation team. – Jubi/Victor Mambor

Wamena, Jubi – The health care team of Province Papua assisted by the Health Office of Nduga Regency, which was deployed to provide health services in sub-districts affected by gun conflict in Nduga, has returned to Wamena after serving the community.

Based on three days health examination (from 8 to 10 January 2019) implemented in sub-districts of Mbua, Dal and Mbulmu Yalma, they found common diseases appeared among the refugees.

The health care team coordinator dr Beery I. S Wopari explained this happened due to lacking food supplies. “In our struggling to overcome the geographical challenge during the services, there are indeed some diseases that dominantly found among adults and children,” he told reporters in Wamena on Friday evening (11/1/2019).

He added that his team found many cases of joint and bone pain as well as the pain in the entire body and headache. There are also some cases of high blood pressure among men and women.

Meanwhile for children, infants and toddlers, the common diseases found in respiratory infectious diseases such as flu and cough as well as diarrhoea, intestinal worms and wounds. They also found some pregnant women among the refugees. 

Many children also have wounds in their body as a result of falling in the running.

Dr Wopari also revealed that there are three adults wounded by gunshot, but they didn’t come to treatment so that the team only gave medication to reduce pain.

Meanwhile, a member of health care team Elianus Tabuni admitted that the deployed team has 16 people consisting of specialists, medical practitioners, and nurses and assisted by a team from the Health Office of Nduga Regency. The three days services concentrated in three sub-districts, Mbua, Dal and Mbulmu Yalma, Nduga Regency plus Ilekma Sub-district, Jayawijaya Regency because many people fled to Wamena.

The team also planned to go to Yigi Sub-district in the third day, but due to an unfavourable situation, they returned to Wamena to continue their service there.

We communicated with the military regarding the update situation in Yigi. They suggested us not to come to the area because of gunshots arbitrary caught in this area. We assumed it was a bad sign for us to continue our journey to Yigi Sub-district,” said Elianus Tabuni.

He also admitted besides the geographical difficulties and cold weather, people who come for treatment didn’t trust them for the first time.

They might be traumatic thus they ever questioned us whether we came to help them, to provide health services or another else,” said Tabuni. (*)

 

Reporter: Islami Adisubrata

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Papuan youth church ministry held aid solidarity for Nduga

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Nduga residents forced to exile from their villages. – Jubi / IST

Nduga, Jubi – On 5 January 2019, the Catholic Youth and their young fellows of Papuan Baptist Church, GIDI and GKI formed a Youth Church Ministry for Nduga Aid Solidarity.

Everyone is responsible for representing their institutions for this solidarity,” said Alfonsa Wayap, the Secretary of the Youth Church Ministry for Nduga Aid Solidarity.

The Catholic Youth has sent letters to seven parishes under Jayapura deanery of Jayapura Diocese, that are the churches of Kristus Terang Dunia Waena, Kristus Juru Selamat Kotaraja, Santo Fransiskus Assisi APO, Gembala Baik Abepura, Santo Petrus and Santo Paulus Argapura.

The deanery of Jayapura preferred because it locates in the capital city of Papua Province, Jayapura, which known as the centre of education and economic development of Papua. Thus, these young people pinned their hopes to its residents to get involved for solidarity.

I wrote to the parish priest. We hope they will announce it to people in the Sunday mass on 6 January,” she said.

Meanwhile, Deacon David Wilil Pr, the assistant of Parish Priest of Kristus Terang Dunia Waena, confirmed received the letter from the Catholic Youth. “We already received the letter. I have submitted it to the board of the Parish Council. There the board will talk,” he said. 

About the aid, the Coordinator of Youth Ministry for Nduga Aid Solidarity Yendinus Mabel who’s also the General Chairman of GIDI Youth said this solidarity is solely concerned about the humanity regardless of political interest.

Moreover, donations collected from seven parishes brought to the secretariat of aid solidarity in GIDI Headquarters located in Jl. PLN, Sentani of Jayapura Regency, 26 kilometres from Jayapura City to be transferred to Nduga.

Travelling from the capital city of Papua to Nduga Regency is not easy. People can only access it through Jayawijaya Regency which takes about 45 minutes by air plane flying from Jayapura. Then we should spend almost a day travel by car to reach Nduga and take more two days on the road to reach the location of refugees.

We hope this aid will go to the right persons,” he told Jubi.

In the meantime, Ester Haluk who represents her colleagues of KINGMI Papua said this aid is critical to help Nduga resident reducing their life burden and trauma against the military operation.

There is a trauma among the refugees. As a human being, we want to be comfortable, feeling safe, free to work to fulfil their basic needs.” (*)

 

Reporter: Benny Mawel

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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