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Government Urged Tackle Tolikara Incident Wisely, Church Leader Says

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The church leaders  wile held press conference after the meeting - Jubi

[/media-credit] The church leaders wile held press conference after the meeting – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – The chairman of Central Papua Baptist Church Fellowship Services Agency, Socratez Sofian Yoman, urged the government to handle the aftermath of the Tolikara incident wisely.

He said the incident has drawn attention from the central government, including the president, the military and police chiefs as well as the general.

“I see this as a distraction of issues. One important issue is the murder case of security forces against civilians in Paniai on 8 December 2014. There are also other cases such as Yahukimo case, and so on. This is an attempt by the state to divert attention from those issues,” Yoman told reporters at GKI Papua Synod Office, Argapura, Jayapura City on Wednesday (5/8/2015).

He further questioned the State’s attention when numbers of house of worship in several areas closed by certain parties. He took the ban of GKI Yasmin Church in Bogor by local mayor as an example.

“Where is the State? Where is the justice, the Constitution, Pancasila (State Philosophy) and Bhineka Tunggal Ika (slogan: Unity in Diversity)? Is it only written in the book? Where is it when Syiah and Ahmadiyah were being hunted?” he said.

He said the problem of Papua is not a minor issue; it’s not a matter of full stomach or economy, but it’s a matter of identity, dignity, the future and political status that being questioned by the people of Papua. Therefore, it needs a broader dialogue for resolution.

Meanwhile the Chairman of GKI Church Synod in Papua, Albert Yoku said Tolikara incident was an explosion of the puzzles of cases occurred in Papua, such as Paniai case, Yahukimo case and another important cases that not getting serious attention from the Government as it did in Tolikara incident.

“I hope the same spirit could be used to settle those cases. Do not only focus in Tolikara incident that make it likely a huge issue, but it’s only a small case in reality. Tolikara incident is a crash over civilization and to open our eyes about the fact that minority groups in Indonesia must get a justice,” said Yoku. (Arjuna Pademme/rom)

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Papua Customary Council: Indonesia and Papua Free Movement must sit together

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The funeral of Nduga residents who suspected killed by Indonesian military attack – Jubi/Ist

Jayapura, Jubi – The president of Papua Baptism Churches Dr Socrates Sofyan Yoman said the Indonesian Government’s reaction on the murder of 16 people in Nduga Regency on 2 December is truly explicit and unfair.

“We all disagree and condemn Papua Free Movement’s act that killed 16 Indonesians in Nduga on 1 December 2018,” Yoman told Jubi reporter on Friday, 14 December 2018 in Abepura, Jayapura City, Papua.

However, the Indonesian Military and Police shouldn’t take this as a reason to conduct a military operation in Nduga because it would only cause more causality among innocent people, he said.

Currently, the military operation has been carrying out and already took many lives of civilians.  However, the reaction over this killing is a paradox. Papuan people should question the policy of the Indonesian Government.

“Are there shouts and curses (from Indonesian Government) when their military and police massacred hundreds or even thousands of West Papuans for 54 years? Where is the justice? Where is the humanity?” asked Yoman.

Moreover, he said without justice and through the incident that killed 16 people in Nduga, the Indonesian Government has established their image before the eyes of the nation of West Papua, Indonesia and the international community that Indonesia is an imperialist who conquered and colonialized West Papua.

Meanwhile, Dominikus Surabut, the Chief of Papua Customary Council, said the Indonesian Government would never solve the problems in Papua through the task forces.

“Indonesia must sit together with the Free Papua Movement,” he affirmed.

According to him, both sides must take this conciliation seriously and have a mutual commitment to solving the problems in Papua.

Without conciliation, the violence will repeat. Therefore, Yoman appealed the West Papuans to fight for their primary rights peacefully. They no need to be provoked by the provocative actions of the Indonesian Government.

“In responding the state’s violence, I asked the West Papuans to keep fighting for their rights in peaceful, humane and dignified ways,” said Yoman.  (*)

Reporter: Benny Mawel

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Thousands of people take refuge to the forest, says the Church authority

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Jayapura, Jubi – Thousands of residents of Mbua, Yall and Yigi sub-districts reportedly sought refuge in the forest following the raid conducted by the joint police and military forces towards the West Papua Liberation Army that claimed to be responsible for the shooting incidents of the workers of PT. Istaka Karya on 2 December 2018.

The residents are mostly the congregation of the Kingmi Papua Church. “We received reports from Yigi and Yall informed that about five presbyteries have taken refuge to the forest since the evacuation of shooting victims conducted,” the Rev. Dr Benny Giay told Jubi on Sunday (9/12/2018).

Further, he described that the five presbyteries are including Yigi Barat presbytery of six congregations, Yigi presbytery of six congregations, Mbua presbytery of six congregations and Mbulmuyalma of eight congregations. Meanwhile, for Mugi presbytery, he doesn’t have detailed information yet about how many groups that fled to the forest.

“Each congregation is on average consisting of 30-50 heads of families. So, it estimated that the total of refugees is 780 householders. If each family consists of two family members, it means there are more than 1,500 refugees,” explained the Rev. Giay. The Kingmi Church, further said Father Giay, is Christian’s denomination that dominant in Nduga. They have approximately 60,000 followers in Nduga.

Moreover, he added that in the previous military raid between June and July 2018, there were fifty families in Alguru village where suspected the hiding place of the insurgent group had a refuge to the forest. Then, there were 150 people went to Timika, whereas 116 people exited Nduga to Agats, Asmat Regency regarding the incident occurred in Nduga within the last eight days.

Meanwhile, the Communion of Churches in Indonesia (MPH-PGI) expressed their profound condolences and deplored the use of violent-approach either by civilians, insurgents or state apparatus in solving the problems in Papua.

“The violence, in any form, in our opinion, would never solve a problem, but create new scars and wounds which in turn will create another circle of violence,” wrote the Rev. Dr Henriette T.H. Lebang, the Chairperson of PGI in their pastoral message regarding the incident in Nduga.

Furthermore, PGI calls on all parties to stop all forms of violence and sit together to solve the existed problems with humanity and dignity. “Only through this way we can liberate Papua from its entangled problems,” she continued. (*)

Reporter: Victor Mambor

Editor: Pipit Maizier 

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Four residents reportedly died, others run to forest following the evacuation of shooting victims in Nduga

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“Two died in Mbua, while two killed in Yigi. They are all my closed relatives. The military shot them while doing the evacuation. One of them is my uncle. He was a church board member named Yulianus Tabuni,” a Papuan youth figure Samuel Tabuni told Jubi by phone on Sunday morning.

He said that people on Mbua, Yall and Yigi sub-districts are currently moving to the forest. Therefore, he thinks this will possibly increase the number of dead victims due to lack of food and health problem during the refuge.

Further, he said he got the information about the death of four civilians in Mbua and Yigi from his family. So, he believes that it’s true. However, he cannot ensure other victims.

He also added that his family told him that the security forces had forced some priests to become their guide in the military operation against the West Papua Liberation Army that claimed behind the attack against the workers of PT. Istaka Karya. He also cannot confirm the recent rumours of military airstrikes.

“Both information and transportation accesses to Nduga are difficult now. So we cannot verify each information we received,” said Tabuni.

Meanwhile, as quoted by republika.co.id, the Public Affairs Chief of Cenderawasih XVII Military Command Colonel Infantry Muhammad Aidi asserted that the military did not use bombs and do airstrikes from plane or helicopter in chasing the insurgents in Nduga, Papua. The Indonesian Military, he further said, know and understand about the applied rule and procedure.

“No airstrikes occurred in this operation. It only involves the human resources, the soldiers who do the evacuation. No bombing,” said Aidi on Friday (7/12/2018).

By contrast, the Head of Nirkuri Sub-district Yosekat K. Kamarigi told VOA Indonesia that the shootings were targeted the residents’ shelters in the forest. The recent data affirmed that there are at least four people injured and two died because of the gunfire. The two dead victims were the civil servants from Wuridlak village and Kujondume village.

“We announced through radio asking the residents to meet in one location or to gather in the church’s yard. But they were scared because the police and soldiers shot their gun arbitrary.  So, I asked them to save the photographs, videos and so on for evidence, and they said they already kept some of it,” added Yosekat, quoted by VOA Indonesia.

A church board member confirmed dead

Separately, when confirmed by Jubi on Sunday (9/12/2018), the Rev. Dr Benny Giay confirmed that the death of a member of Kingmi Church Board named Yulianus Tabuni.

“That’s right. Yulianus Tabuni is a church board member in Mbua, has no relation with the armed group. He used to take care of the church’s collection,” the Rev. Giay told Jubi on Sunday (9/12/2018).

Moreover, according to the Rev. Giay, a member of the congregation of Kingmi Church reported that he was shot in the church by the security force while evacuation of the shooting victims in Nduga. However, the reason behind his shooting was still unclear.

Kingmi Church has approximately 60 thousand followers in Nduga

The residents of Nduga Regency is the majority members of Kingmi Church. Therefore, the Rev. Benny Giay asked President Joko Widodo to pay attention to the progress of the military operation conducted by the Indonesian Police and Military after the president’s order to chase the armed group.

“It’s near Christmas. Our followers want to have Christmas in quiet and peaceful. We also need to visit Nduga, because the majority of Nduga residents are the followers of Kingmi, but now we can’t. We only get a report from residents and the church board in Mbua, Yall and Yigi,” said the Rev. Giay.

He also hopes that the access to Nduga to be opened for independent parties for further investigation regarding the shooting incidents as well as the post-Nduga incident. (*)

Reporter: Victor Mambor

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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