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Politics, Government & Security

Laurenzus Kadepa: National Media Fuelling Conflict in Papua

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Laurenzus Kadepa, a member of Commission I of Papua Legislative Council on Political, Legal and Human Rights - Jubi

Laurenzus Kadepa, a member of Commission I of Papua Legislative Council on Political, Legal and Human Rights – Jubi

Yogyakarta, Jubi – Papua councilor Lauzensus Kadepa accused the national media in Jakarta of fuelling the conflict in Papua.

“Some reports about the hostage-taking showed the national media in Jakarta are not professional. They accused the wrong people, those who were never involved. That’s their bad side. This is an effort to keep enforcing the project of conflict in Papua with the intention to destroy Papua,” Kadepa said in Jayapura on Wednesday (16/9/2015).

He cited the coverage on Tolikara case, in which some media in Jakarta continue to raise the issue of the little mosque was burned while the coverage on the shooting victims perpetrated by security forces was never given a space. “That’s it. It showed the national media are taking side instead of being neutral. Similar thing was happened on the report about two Indonesian citizens who are taken hostages in the border of Indonesia – PNG, or when a national media reported that West Papua National Committee was involved in action since 2006 while it was established at the end of 2008. Well, I advise to national journalists asking their local journalist colleagues about the local situation before publishing their writing. I guess there’s a grand design to destroy Papua,” he said.

Separately, senior journalist and Human Right Watch researcher said there are many problems among the so-called ‘media national journalist’ in Jayapura, Manokwari and Timika. They (journalist) are often underpaid that forced them to collect cash from their news resources. He further said Papua geographical space that often seven time of the size of Java Island is not considered by media leaders in Jakarta. As a consequence, the less payment could not be used to cover the cost of reportage.

“Most of national media reporters in Papua have sold their independence to the third party. Even in 2011, leaked military document listed dozens of reporters as intelligent and informant of Military Special Force. Their names were circulated on social media, and recently it was analyzed by Sydney Morning Herald and Allan Nairn,” he told Jubi from Jakarta.

Harsono revealed those who mentioned in the military document are mostly ‘straight-haired’ journalists. However, he recognizes some ‘curly-haired’ journalists who also sold their independence.

“I think the Press Council need to conduct special investigation on several disturbing news, including the report written by two media national journalists, and to find out whether it was done on purpose or not. It’s required to recover the people’s trust in Papua –indigenous or migrant—against journalism in Indonesia,” he said. (Arnold Belau/rom)

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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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DPRP and MRP urged Komnas HAM to investigate Nduga’s case

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Komnas HAM office in Jakarta – Supplied

Jayapura, Jubi – Yunus Wonda, the heads of the Papuan Representatives Council (DPR Papua) made the calls after security forces allegedly killed four civilians during an anti-insurgency operation last week that followed the slayings of 17 construction workers by separatist rebels.

“We ask the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) to conduct a thorough investigation. They must investigate not only this December incident, but also what happened last July,” Yunus Wonda, chairman of the council, told Jubi on Monday (10/12/2018).

DPR Papua will set up a special committee to conduct an inquiry into what happened, Yunus added.
But now, he said Nduga is still closed for any civilians, included member of DPR Papua.

Separately, Timotius Murib, chairman of the people’s assembly (MRP), said the MRP has formed a committee to investigate the Dec. 2 and 3 attacks by separatist rebels and also reports from church that mentioned 4 civilians dead during the evacuation.

“Because this MRP is a representative body for Papuan Indigenous People, we don’t see the Nduga case as a separate issue, but part of what has happened so far in Papua,” Timotius added.

Meanwhile on Monday, a local youth leader alleged that security forces shot dead four civilians on Dec. 3 and Dec. 5, including at least one clergyman, while troops were trying to retrieve bodies of the workers killed by TPNPB guerrillas in the Mbua, Yall and Yigi districts of Nduga.

“Two [were killed] in Mbua and two in Yigi. One [of those killed] in Mbua is my uncle. His name is Yulianus Tabuni,” Samuel Tabuni, a Papuan youth leader who once ran for office as the regent of Nduga, told Jubi.

Samuel stated his uncle was a member of the church assembly in Mbua, not involved in separatist movement.

He said relatives told him that government forces had pressured several pastors in the area to give them information about the rebels. (*)

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