Saturday, November 18, 2017

1) Fighting won’t stop unless Jakarta closes Mine

2) TPN-PB was confirmed there was a fire contact before the evacuation of civilians
3) Security Forces Free 344 People Held Hostage by Gunmen in Papua
1) Fighting won’t stop unless Jakarta closes Mine

West Papuan soldier with modern weapon

The writer of this article was sitting next to the West Papua Liberation Army (WPLA) Spokesman, Sebby Sambom at Golden Port midday Wednesday, when a personal report direct from Tembagapura by the Region’s Defense Commander of WPLA (TPNPB) Brigadier, Ayub Waker and Field Operation Commander, Gusby Hunggi confirmed that their men also destroyed three cars and one helicopter.
The attack took place at a police check point at Freeport Indonesian Mining Company 3.30 yesterday morning.
Sambom says this is fresh news that does not normally get to the international media uncensored by Jakarta.
Asked if the latest fighting is likely to threaten the unity among the delegates of the all West Papua annual conference in Port Vila beginning November 24, Sambom says he believes it will be discussed in the meeting.
Asked where WPLA gets its modern weapons from, he replies with a dubious smile that they buy them and also collect them from their victims.
“An Australian journalist asked me the same question after seeing pictures of young men with weapons which are not readily available on the market.
"They are provided by Australia to Indonesia’s special forces," he says.
Asked to explain how the standoff between Indonesia’s police and soldiers and WPLA also known as TPNPB is likely to end, he replies that the armed West Papuan fighters are not “criminals or rebels” because they are fighting for their rights to protect their women and children, their lands and mineral resources and freedom and sovereignty.
This is the most respectable stand that any indigenous freedom fighter or guerrilla fighter is prepared to risk everything for.
He says to every West Papuan, the 54-year old struggle has progressed to a new level where it is becoming clearer that if they restrict their struggle to diplomacy, it may take another 54 years and many are determined that enough is enough.
In the latest 8-point statement to Jakarta, WPLA makes the following demands reiterating its military wing will stop the war only if:
• Freeport Indonesian Mining Company in Tembagapura, West Papua, is closed;
• Indonesia recalls all organic and non-organic military forces from the area of West Papua and replaces them with UN security forces.
• Government of Indonesia approve the implementation of an act of free choice for self-determination for indigenous people of West Papua;
• Indonesian Government of the Provinces of Papua and West Papua dismissed and the non-government status, fully surrender to a UN trust government.
• Negotiator in the Agreement be a Papuan military representative of the TPNPB, the civilian Movement of the interior and the ULMWP foreign diplomat;
• Signing of this Agreement be mediated by neutral parties and the UN, not JDP or Indonesian Government;
• Other matters concerning timing of referendum and negotiators be submitted later, if Indonesian Government approves of bid of this agreement and
• WPLA (TPNPB) rejects bid of any form other than those listed on the eight items of this bid. If the Indonesian government does not approve this bid then TPNPB will not stop the war.
The spokesman says the war against the Indonesian military in Papua will go on until the top of the bid is approved, which is to close the Freeport Mine.
A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
Original bahasa link at

2) TPN-PB was confirmed there was a fire contact before the evacuation of civilians

Papua No. 1 News Portal | Jubi,
Saturday, November 18, 2017 - 09:13

                           Evacuation of civilians from Kampung Banti with the aim of Tembagapura - IST

Jayapura, Jubi - The armed contacts that occurred before the evacuation of civilians in Banti and Kimbeli were justified by Hendrik Wanmang, Commander of Operation of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-PB) III Timika.

"Two of our members were wounded in a shootout last morning," Hendrik Wanmang said briefly to Jubi via telephone on Saturday (11/18/2017).

But another source said two TPN-PB members were killed in a firefight that Friday morning. Both are named Ilame Tabuni and Yuliana Waker.

On the side of the TNI / Police, there were no casualties or gunshot wounds. Similarly, residents who were evacuated from Kampung Banti and Kimbeli.

"No one community is a victim, yes," said Papua Police Chief Irjenpol Boy rafli Amar in an official video released by Police Public Relations on Friday, November 17, 2017.

The evacuation process of civilians itself lasted until 12:00 local time. The evacuation was done since 09.30 after the two villages were controlled by the armed forces task force at 07.00.

Reported by CNN Indonesia, around 07.00 am, Kampung Kimbeli has been controlled by Kopassus 13 and Raider 751 troops while Banti village is controlled by two teams from Taipur Kostrad. After these two villages are controlled by TNI units joined in the Armed Forces Task Force, the evacuation process is carried out.

 "After the entire area is controlled and the situation is declared safe, Pangdam XVII / Cenderawasih coordinates with Kapolda to immediately send the Evacuation Team," said Head of Information Center for Military Region XVII / Cenderawasih Command Colonel Muhamad Aidi.

Papuan Legislative Member Laurens Kadepa hopes the evacuation process will not be a TNI / POLRI effort to carry out attacks in villages suspected of being a TPN-PB hiding place.

"Evacuation of non-Papuans to Tembagapura is not an attempt by TNI / POLRI to carry out sporadic attacks, by land and air in villages suspected to be members of TPN-PB, because in every village there must be civilians," Kadepa said. (*)

A staged police  video
3) Security Forces Free 344 People Held Hostage by Gunmen in Papua

Friday, November 17, 2017

1) Commentary: Recent Gun Contact in West Papua Challenges Jokowi’s Development Approach

Note. Lots of media coverage around this so called hostage crisis .
The OPM has pointed out a number of times the people were not held hostage 
and in fact the local people remained in their villages because it was their home 
and also  of their fear of military sweeps. 
1) Commentary: Recent Gun Contact in West Papua Challenges Jokowi’s Development Approach
2) Hundreds of residents escorted out of besieged Papuan villages
3) Indonesia says Papua villages in standoff with rebels secure
4) Civilian hostages being used as human shields: Human rights activist
5) Joint security team takes control of Kimbeli, Banti villages
6) Police, TNI Evacuate Hundreds of Papuans from Captivity

1) Commentary: Recent Gun Contact in West Papua Challenges Jokowi’s Development Approach
By : Petrus K. Farneubun | on 2:45 PM November 17, 2017

Students from the Indonesian Peoples Front of West Papua (FRI) participating in a protest rally in Makassar, South Sulawesi, on Dec. 1. The group called on the government to better support the people of West Papua and to distribute more funding and development to the region. (Antara Photo/Yusran Uccang)

Recent gun contact followed by reportedly 1,300 people being taken hostages in Tembagapura, Mimika, West Papua, by TPN/OPM, or the Papuan National Freedom Army, continues to demonstrate political and policy battles between Papuans in general and TPN/OPM in particular and Indonesian government.
The area of Tembagapura, a subdistrict in Mimika regency, is the home to the world’s giant gold mining company Freeport Indonesia. It is an area of constant gun fights between the Indonesian security forces and TPN/OPM.
It is also an area where political-economic interests and cultural-social identity was in a total clash for years. No one knows for sure when it is going to end.

The recent gun fight has caused a number of deaths and serious injuries from both sides and it is not likely to end soon following a number of demands and conditions presented by TPN/OPM to the Indonesian government to end the fight.
The demands, of course, are difficult to meet because they deal with sovereignty and delicate political issues.
However, what is particularly striking, though, as reported by numerous mainstream media, is that the hostages are not only non-Papuans but also native-civilian Papuans, mostly coming from the same or neighbor tribes as the TPN/OPM.
There are different assessments and interpretations dealing with the case. Some journalists including local journalists, community leaders and activists raise doubts whether the term “hostage” is the proper word used to describe what is actually happening.
Jonathan Kibak, a local community leader, for example, testifies that there are no hostages taking place as claimed by Indonesian authorities and the activities of the villagers of Banti and Kimberly run as usual. Others claim that it is simply a manipulation of the real situation to justify a military action.
For that reason, they simply describe the situation as temporary isolation done by TPN/OPM to restrict the movement of security forces in the area and to prevent people from entering and leaving the villages.
When people are allowed to go out, it will put their safety in danger and make TPN/OPM vulnerable of being attacked by joint security forces of military and police.
They also describe that it is strange to call “hostage crisis” because there is no crisis that harms the villagers and it is unusual that TPN/OPM would take hostages against the people sharing the same tribe with them. In other words, taking Papuan civilian hostages is not a common method of TPN/OPM tactics.
An internationally famous incident where TPN/OPM took hostage was in January 1996 where 26 hostages, 20 Indonesian and four foreigners were held in the jungle for more than four months. They were finally released through a rescue mission.
But whatever the terms and the situation are, this incident, of course, poses a serious challenge to Jokowi’s administration. Under Jokowi’s administration, his expectation is so high to end political battles by promoting a policy of development through comprehensive changes.
For Jokowi, political battles between strong-held ideologies of the Unitary State of Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) versus West Papua Political Independence can be ended or at least compromised through comprehensive development approaches in Papua, a belief which was also shared by his predecessors.
Although Jokowi’s approach reflects a continuation and change of policy from his predecessors, it is fair to mention that among all his predecessors, Jokowi is perhaps the only president who pays serious attention to develop Papua.
His frequent trips to the easternmost region in Indonesia and his strong commitment to break the Papua remoteness and promote Papuan welfare by building massive roads and implementing one-fuel price policies for West Papua and other parts of Indonesia gives a strong signal that his administration is different from the past.
It also indicates that Jokowi is seeking solutions to bring those who have different political aspirations to support him in promoting development in the region.
In the last couple years and continued to this year, media has reported that several members of TPN/OPM have decided to surrender and stop fighting for a political independence following impressive development growth in the area promoted by Jokowi.
Their integrations into society signify a major transformation from active guerilla combatants to non-combatants and it is a key aspect to achieve peace by integrating and disarming the active combatant groups.
The government built them houses and promised to improve their welfare once they were integrated into society but this was not followed by empowerment and peacebuilding initiatives. As a result, constant fighting and resistance still continue.
And the recent incident of gun contact has illustrated once again that the political and policy battles are still far from over and the new approach needs to be done.
One one hand, Jokowi’s government has begun to initiate a comprehensive and sustainable development approach to Papua. But on the other hand, the security approach is still strongly embraced. This is counter-productive and likely to affect the overall initiatives of Jokowi.
It is true that although the dominant security approach has been minimal following the introduction of prosperity approach through a special autonomy law granted in 2001, the security approach remains strong in practice.
Of course, it is not easy to withdraw security forces from West Papua due to active separatist groups in the region but the large presence of security forces and excessive use of force will lead to unprecedented consequences.
As a matter of fact, a number of human rights reports have repeatedly revealed how the presence of security forces and the unnecessary use of force against Papuans have exacerbated the conditions and led to continuing human rights violations.
In addition, although recent approach by Jokowi who strongly emphasizes infrastructure development which is expected to connect villages to villages in Papua in order to promote economic development in the area, the resistance from Papuans against central government will likely to continue.
The issue of civil resistance among Papuans is not new. It has lasted before and after Papua integrated into Indonesia in 1969 through Act of Free Choice.
Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI) has indicated that there are four root causes of conflicts in Papua: marginalization and discrimination, failure of development, political and history contradiction, accountability of human rights violations.
The Jokowi government appears to have addressed the first two issues seriously but not other two. His initiative to uplift restrictions of foreign journalists to West Papua in 2015 to monitor human rights conditions and the region development received strong resistance from other state authorities.
Indeed, to solve the persisting problems in Papua, it is not enough to take one aspect of the policy and leaving the others behind, but all should be taken. In other words, a comprehensive measure needs to be taken to ensure a productive and mutual understanding, trust and stable conditions.
It is also important to show that Jokowi’s government does not primarily focus on development issues but also political and human rights issues, a key to achieve peace and justice.
Petrus K. Farneubun teaches international relations at the Cenderawasih University in West Papua. He is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in the field of international relations at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, with support of LPDP scholarship.


2) Hundreds of residents escorted out of besieged Papuan villages
Nethy Dharma Somba The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Fri, November 17, 2017 | 05:38 pm

A joint team comprising Indonesian Military and National Police personnel Friday gained control of Banti and Kimbeli, two villages in Tembagapura district in Mimika regency, Papua, that were reportedly occupied by armed separatists for the past three weeks.
Members of Free Papua Movement’s (OPM) National Liberation Army (TPN) reportedly blockaded all roads into the area and prohibited residents from leaving the villages.  
Papua Police chief Insp.Gen. Boy Rafli Amar and Cendrawasih Military District Commander Maj. Gen. George E. Supit arrived at Kimbeli and Banti at 11 a.m. local time Friday.
“Thirteen personnel of the Army’s Special Forces [Kopassus], supported by 30 members of the 751st Raider battalion, gained control of Kimbeli village while two teams from the Army Strategic Reserves Command’s [Kostrad] Combat Reconnaissance Platoons [Tontaipur] regained control of Banti village from the separatists,” said Cendrawasih Military District Command spokesperson Lt.Col. M.Aidi.
“Within less than two hours, they managed to take over the two villages and push back the OPM/TPN members. They ran into the forest.”
Papua Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. AM Kamal said that during the operation, security personnel rescued 150 people from Kimbeli village and 194 from Longsoran village.
Hundreds of others chose to stay because they are originally from Kimbeli and Banti villages. “They were born and grew up in Kimbeli and Banti so they don’t want to leave. They only asked us to provide security and logistical assistance until the situation in the two villages returns to normal,” said Kamal. (ebf)


3) Indonesia says Papua villages in standoff with rebels secure

TEMBAGAPURA, Indonesia — Nov 17, 2017, 5:37 AM ET

Indonesian police said they helped evacuate more than 340 people Friday from villages in easternmost Papua after security forces apparently gained the upper hand in a standoff with separatists. It was unclear if there were any casualties.
Papua police spokesman Suryadi Diaz said the villages of Kimbeli and Banti, where separatists stationed gunmen last week, were secured and 344 people including two dozen children were evacuated by bus to a nearby town. Those who left were mostly migrants from other regions while hundreds of indigenous Papuans stayed behind, police said.
Diaz said in a statement that the evacuation was preceded by a two-hour security operation that "hit back" against the separatists. Earlier Friday, a spokesman for the separatist National Liberation Army of West Papua said in an email that a military surveillance drone had flown over the area. A commander for the group could not be reached by mobile phone.
Another Papua police spokesman, Ahmad Musthofa Kamal, said that gunfire from hills surrounding one village had hampered the efforts of about 300 police and military personnel to move people.
Indonesia restricts journalist access to Papua and police information is not always reliable.
Tensions in the region near the U.S.-owned Grasberg gold and copper mine have flared in the past month. A series of attacks by suspected separatists have killed two policemen and injured more than half a dozen others.
Members of the National Liberation Army of West Papua last month declared an area near the mine a battlefield with Indonesian security forces and last week stationed armed men in the two main affected villages, Kimbeli and Banti, that are home to about 1,300 people.
A low-level insurgency for independence has simmered in Papua since it was annexed by Indonesia in the early 1960s. The region, which makes up the western half of the island of New Guinea, was formally incorporated into Indonesia in 1969 following a U.N.-sponsored ballot of tribal leaders that has since been dismissed as a sham.
Police had made contradictory statements about the status of the villagers, initially calling them hostages and then in other instances saying their movements were not being restricted.
A commander of the armed separatist group, which uses the Indonesian acronym TNP, told The Associated Press last week that villagers were generally free to go about their business but prohibited from entering the area defined as a conflict zone.
4) Civilian hostages being used as human shields: Human rights activist
Pewarta: Antara  8 hours ago

Timika, Papua (ANTARA News) - An armed criminal group was deliberately using the over one thousand civilian hostages in Tembagapura, Mimika, Papua, as human shields in the fight against the state, National Human Rights Commission`s (Komnas HAM`s) Papua chapter revealed.  

Frits Ramandey, head of the Papua human rights office, here, Friday, urged the armed group to allow access to food and medicine supplies needed by some 1,300 inhabitants of several kampongs being held hostage.

"We urge the armed civilian group to not use the residents as shields. They must also open access to humanitarian missions and services," Ramandey emphasized. 

The Indonesian police and military as well as the Mimika district administration have provided food supplies to the hostages in an area near the Tembagapura police office, but the villagers were petrified to take the food for fear of the armed group. 

"Those food supplies and other goods are being kept in Tembagapura, as there is no access to drop them to those kampongs. Once again, please open access (to these supplies) for the sake of humanity," he reiterated.

Ramandey claimed to have attempted to approach and communicate with the rebels, but to no avail, though several prominent traditional and religious figures had tried to help.

"We have made continuous efforts. Regardless of their vested interests, access must be opened. The civilian community must not be used as a shield. People have now continued to fall victims to this," he remarked.  

He viewed the several recent incidents of fatal shootings targeting police officers as criminal actions.

"The Komnas HAM expresses its condolences over the demise of Police Officer Firman. What happened to the late Firman is a tragedy and crime, so law must be enforced," he affirmed.

Chief Brigadier Firman was shot dead during a shootout with members of the armed criminal group at Mile 69 in Tembagapura on Wednesday (Nov 15).

According to some reports, some 1,300 civilians are being intimidated and held at gunpoint in several villages surrounding Tembagapura. 

Reported by Evariuanus Supar 
Editor: Heru Purwanto

5) Joint security team takes control of Kimbeli, Banti villages

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The joint security task force has taken control of the security situation in the villages of Kimbely and Banti in Tembagapura District, Mimika, after being held hostage by an armed criminal group.

"The security task force, led by Commander of the Papua Mobile Brigade, has recaptured the Kimbely and Banti villages at 9:30 a.m. local time," Head of Public Information of Indonesia Police Brigadier General Rikwanto stated here on Friday.

Several high-ranking officers of the Police, such as Assistant Chief of Operations of Indonesia Police Inspector General Iriawan and Head of Papua Regional Police Inspector General Boy Rafli Amar, also visited the villages.

The hostage evacuation process was conducted between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. local time amid the shooting incident.

A total of 344 people were part of the first batch of freed hostages. They were evacuated to the Tembagapura Sector Police Office.

Of the 344 people, 104 were men, 32 women, and 14 children from Kimbeli Village and 153 men, 31 women, and 10 children from Longsoran Village.

The armed criminal group had earlier taken 1,300 civilians as hostages in the Kimbely and Banti villages of Tembagapura Sub-district.

The police have identified 21 members of the armed group that are believed to have conducted the hostage-taking act: Ayuk Waker, Obeth Waker, Ferry Elas, Konius Waker, Yopi Elas, Jack Kemong, Nau Waker, Sabinus Waker, Joni Botak, Abu Bakar or Kuburan Kogoya, Tandi Kogoya, Tabuni, Ewu Magai, Guspi Waker, and Yumando Waker or Ando Waker.

Moreover, Yohanis Magai, Yosep Kemong, Elan Waker, Lis Tabuni, Anggau Waker, and Gandi Waker were listed as members of the armed group. 

Reported by Anita Permata Dewi


FRIDAY, 17 NOVEMBER, 2017 | 22:34 WIB
6) Police, TNI Evacuate Hundreds of Papuans from Captivity

TEMPO.COJakarta - A team of rescuers consisting of the National Police and the Indonesian Military (TNI) evacuated residents of Kimbely and Banti villages in Papua, who were taken hostage by a local armed criminal group.
According to National Police spokesperson Insp. Gen. Setyo Wasisto, the authorities have successfully secured Kimbely and Banti villages at 09:30 a.m. local time.
The first part of the evacuation process at 11:00 AM up to 12:00 PM was hampered by resistance from the local armed group. The first phase of the evacuation managed to safely free the first group to the Tembangpura Police headquarters.
Papua Police Chief Inspector General Boy Rafli Amar stated that the liberation operation went as planned.
“None of the residents fell victim,” he said in an official video released by Police on Friday, November 17.
The evacuation process was conducted on foot considering that the route to Tembagapura was almost inaccessible. Authorities suspect that the road was intentionally damaged by the armed group with heavy machinery.
Based on the temporary data provided by the police, as many as 104 men, 32 women, and 14 children were rescued. There were also 153 men, 31 women, and 10 children rescued from the landslide area. 

1) Some 346 civilian hostages in Papua released amid crossfire

2) Indonesia evacuates villagers after shootings near Freeport mine
3) Some flee Papua villages in standoff with Indonesia forces
4) Papua police demand release of 1,300 civilian hostages
5) Renewed Papuan independence call amid alleged ‘hostage’ standoff


Note comment from Press Council re reporting on so called hostage crises.

The Press Council was asked to investigate media hostage reporting hostage taking in Papua

Civil Society Organizations and Individuals who joined the Gema Demokrasi (GEDOR) through the release received editorial Jubi, Wednesday (15/11/2017) said since the circulation of information took place around 1,300 villagers Kimbely and Banti Village by armed groups (KKB) Mimika Police Chief AKBP Victor Dean Mackbon interviewed by journalist on November 9, 2017, has clarified that there is actually no hostage against the villagers of Kimbely and Banti.
"We see that a number of major media such as television, online / digital, and print still often declare the event is a hostage," said Ade Wahyudin of LBH Press in the press release.

He continued, the hostage phrase used by some of the media against the above events is excessive and can lead to new conflicts. The word meaning of hostage taking, according to KBBI is an act of captivating people to be guaranteed.

"The fact is as revealed by Police Chief Mimika and Public Relations Papua Police that there is no hostage and people can still move," said Ade.
full article


1) Some 346 civilian hostages in Papua released amid crossfire
Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian police and military personnel have released a total of 346 civilians taken hostage by the armed criminal group in Papua province amid crossfire on Friday, Papua police chief said.

"Crossfire occurred during the evacuation process, causing (some) security personnel and evacuees sustained injuries," Inspector General Boy Rafli Amar, chief of the Papua Provincial Police, said.

Amar, however, did not elaborate the number of security personnel assigned to free the hostages from the armed criminal group, that sustained injuries.

The security officers released the 346 civilians from Kimbeli kampongs, Tembagapura Sub-District, Mimika District, Papua Province.

Of the 346 hostages, 23 were children, he said, adding that the evacuation process was carried out on foot for about four hours heading to the Tembagapura police office.

According to him, the armed criminal group (KKB) kept shooting from the height during the evacuation process.

Meanwhile, Amar on Thursday demanded the KKB to release some 1,300 civilians that it had taken hostages in Banti and Kimbeli kampongs for more than two weeks.

In the meantime, the indigenous Papuans living in Banti are reluctant to be evacuated and want to remain in their villages.

Reported by Evarukdijati
Editor: Heru Purwanto


2) Indonesia evacuates villagers after shootings near Freeport mine
Sam Wanda, Fergus Jensen 

JAKARTA/TIMIKA, Indonesia (Reuters) - Indonesia on Friday began evacuating villages that authorities said had been occupied by armed separatists after a string of shootings near the giant Grasberg copper mine operated by Freeport McMoRan Inc in the eastern province of Papua.
Two police have been killed and at least 12 people have been wounded by gunfire in the area since mid-August. Police have blamed an “armed criminal group”, but others have said the gunmen were linked to separatist rebels. 
According to police reports, the armed group occupied the villages of Banti and Kimbely near the mining town of Tembagapura, and had prevented an estimated 1,300 residents from leaving the area, leading to food shortages.
Police and military leaders said they have urged the gunmen to surrender, but have also warned that tough measures could follow if their “persuasive” approach fails. 
Residents were being evacuated to a sports hall in Tembagapura, according to a source at Freeport. 
Mimika Deputy Regent Yohanes Bassang asked families in Timika to accommodate relatives being evacuated from the villages “to avoid further problems”. 
Bassang said many of the villagers were from the east Indonesian island of Sulawesi and had come to the area to pan for gold. 
The separatist West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-OPM), a group linked to the Free Papua Movement, has claimed responsibility for the shootings and declared war against the military, police and Freeport, but denied it was holding villagers hostage. 
According to several residents interviewed by Reuters, military and police officers were preventing them from getting food from Tembagapura, where food aid was delivered in a cargo container on Saturday. 
“The atmosphere has really heated up,” one resident said, referring to the shootings and concerns over food supplies and safety. 
Reporting by Sam Wanda in TIMIKA and Fergus Jensen in JAKARTA; Editing by John Chalmers and Nick Macfie

3) Some flee Papua villages in standoff with Indonesia forces
Indonesian police say they have helped evacuate about 400 people from villages in easternmost Papua that are at the center of a standoff between security forces and separatists. Papua police spokesman Ahmad Musthofa Kamal said Friday about three quarters of those who have left are migrants from other regions and the remainder indigenous Papuan women and children. He says there was gunfire from hills surrounding one village that was hampering police and military efforts to move people. Tensions in the region near the U.S.-owned Grasberg gold and copper mine have flared in the past month. A series of attacks by suspected separatists have killed two policemen. Members of the National Liberation Army of West Papua last month declared an area near the mine a battlefield with Indonesian security forces.

4) Papua police demand release of 1,300 civilian hostages


Timika, Papua (ANTARA News) - Inspector General Boy Rafli Amar, chief of the Papua Provincial Police, has demanded an armed criminal group (KKB) to release some 1,300 civilians that it had taken hostages in Banti and Kimbeli kampongs, Tembagapura sub-district, Mimika District, Papua Province, since more than two weeks ago.

The Papua Police had asked the help of prominent traditional and religious figures to persuade the group to release the hostages, or to allow anyone wanting to go out of the villages for medical treatment and to get food, Amar told the press here on Thursday.

"The people there are currently oppressed and intimidated because the group has banned them from leaving their villages. Indeed, they are not being held in one room, but they are very much oppressed. Communication is also restricted," he stated.

Amar described the hostage-taking incident as a violation of human rights because the villagers have been intimidated and held at gun point.

Some 150 babies and infants are facing food shortage because their mothers could no longer breastfeed them. Some villagers have fallen ill as food stock is depleting. 

Since late October 2017, Waa-Banti Hospital, run by Amungme and Kamoro Community Development Institution, has ceased operations.

Doctors, nurses, and other paramedics of the Waa-Banti Hospital had earlier been moved to safer area following a gun shooting incident committed by the group, targeting the hospital`s ambulance.

Amar hoped that the group would allow everyone being taken hostages to leave their villages, and the police would send vehicles to pick them up.

So far, the group had allowed just two persons to leave the village, namely a pregnant woman who was about to deliver a baby, and a 51-year-old traditional miner from Blitar, East Java, who is seriously ill.

The Police and the Tembagapura sub-district administration have provided food in Tembagapura police office, but the armed criminal group has prevented no any villager from picking up the food.

Several villagers, in fact, managed to escape and collect the food, but the group members later seized the food. 
Editor: Heru Purwanto

5) Renewed Papuan independence call amid alleged ‘hostage’ standoff

By Lalu Rahadian in Jakarta
Conflicts in Papua province will not be resolved until the Indonesian government provides the Papuan people with an opportunity to determine their future through an international forum, says a leading advocate.
Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) spokesperson Surya Anta says that the root of the Papua problem is Indonesia.
According to Anta, the government must allow the Papuan people to determine their own future instead of continuing its “colonisation” there.
“West Papua is under Indonesian colonialism. If we go back historically, at the time of [Indonesia’s] proclamation [of independence on August 17, 1945], the territory of Papua was not part of Indonesia,” Surya said during a press conference at the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) this week.
Anta expressed this view in response to the reemergence of conflict in Tembagapura, Mimika regency, Papua.
The Indonesian police say that in these districts — using police terminology — the activities of an Armed Criminal Group (Kelompok Kriminal Bersenjata, KKB) have resulted in access to the villages of Banti and Kimbely being “disrupted”.
Papua police chief Inspector-General Boy Rafli Amar has responded to the activities of the KKB by issuing declaration Number B/MKMLT/01/XI/2017 dated November 12, 2017, calling on the KKB to surrender.
‘Disarm yourselves’ call
Amar has asked that all civilians who control, carry, own or use firearms illegally to disarm and surrender them to the authorities.
Amar also claimed that the KKB was holding hundreds of local people “hostage” in two villages in Tembagapura.
According to Anta, the police’s claims about the residents in the villages in Tembagapura are untrue, issuing a counter claim and saying no one had been taken hostage there.
“What we did immediately was communicate with civilian groups there. They confirmed that that no residents had been taken hostage,” he said.
In Anta’s view what has been done by the Free Papua Movement-National Liberation Army (TPN-OPM) in Tembagapura has a clear political basis — to wrest sovereignty from the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI).
Nevertheless, said Anta, labelling the TPN-OPM an “armed criminal group” was an attempt to discredit them and labelling the group in Tembagapura KKB also obscured the roots of the problem in the “Land of Cenderawasih” (Bird of Paradise, West Papua).
“Their political basis is winning sovereignty for the West Papuan nation which is under the colonialism of the NKRI,” he said.
Anta also called on the government to immediately withdraw all security forces from Papua, close the PT Freeport gold-and-copper mine, release all political prisoners and open up access to journalists so that the problems in Papua could be clearly seen.
Infrastructure not the solutionThe Papua Student Alliance (AMP), meanwhile, believes that the ambitious infrastructure development programme in the Land of Cenderawasih does not answer the basic problems of the people there.
According to the AMP and FRI-WP, the main problem in Papua is a political one.
Speaking in the same vein as Anta, AMP activist Frans Nawipa says that the frequent conflicts that take place in Papua can only be resolved if the government allows the Papuan people to leave Indonesia (NKRI).
“The root of the problem is [Papua’s] political status which was manipulated by Indonesia and the military in the 1960s. No matter how long the government pursues the development approach, it will not have the potential to answer to the problems in Papua,” said Nawipa.
Nawipa claims that no one in Papua has asked the government for this development.
Because of this therefore, the efforts by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to develop the country from Papua would not have any significant impact.
Surya Anta added that the construction of the Trans-Papua highway in the Land of the Cenderawasih would not be able to replace the lives that had been lost as a result of the “slaughter” by security forces.
“What is needed is political freedom, freedom from all types of colonialism, self-determination as a national entity”, said Anta.
Since Widodo became president in 2014, infrastructure development in Papua and the country’s borders has been one of his priorities.
Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article on CNN Indonesia website was “Desakan Papua Merdeka Kembali Mengemuka”.


Jayapura, Jubi – West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-PB) insists that they are only willing to negotiate with the Government of Indonesia, the United States Government and Indigenous Papuans (OAP) with the presence of United Nations.
“If we agree to negotiate, the based and topic of negotiation should be clear, we want Indonesia to recognize the independence of Papuan people,” said Hendrik Wanmang, TPN-PB Operational Commander III Timika, on Monday (November 13).
Previously, a negotiating team was formed from November 1st. The team consists of the Provincial Government of Papua, Mimika Regency and security apparatus (TNI/Polri). Right after the coordination meeting ended with the formation of negotiating team, Mimika Regent, Eltinus Omaleng said that the team was tasked to approach and ntiateeg with TPN-PB to ask what they wanted. The most important element of negotiation is  to stop the shooting.
This team consists of church leaders, community leaders and elders Papuan women.
Papua Governor Lukas Enembe said that if TPN-PB required recognition of Papuan independence, it cannot be negotiated with the local government, since it is a state matter.
“If they ask for independence, the negotiation is with Indonesia state, the central government; the local government cannot negotiate on the matter, because regional government’s tasked is for the welfare of its people, in this case is the people of Papua,” explained Governor Enembe on Monday (November 13).
Separately, a spokesman for the National Police Headquarters Setyo Wasisto said that until now the TNI-Polri in Tembagapura has yet to find the one who holds authority within TPN-PB.
“Because the negotiations must be with the one who has authority,” said Setyo quoted by KBR news.
Hendrik Wanmang explained that Indonesian government has deceived Orang Asli Papua during the 1969 referendum called the Act of Free Choice (PEPERA). Not only rigging PEPERA, the Indonesian government has also awarded a gold mine located on Indigenous Papuan land to a US-based company, Freeport McMoran, which occurred two years before PEPERA took place.
In response to these TPN-PB demands, Indonesian Institute of Sciences Researcher (LIPI) Cahyo Pamungkas suggested for Indonesian government should resolve the conflict in Papua by dialogue with TPN-PB. According to him, only dialogue and not weapons can settle the conflict in Papua.
“After the dialogue with TPN-PB, then a dialogue with the Papuan leaders abroad,” he said.
Cahyo also confirmed that what happened in Banti and Kimbeli villages was not hostage taking, because the community is free to do activities but cannot be guaranteed safety if they want to get out from the two villages because they have to cross the armed conflict path.
According to him, the armed group in conflict with the Indonesian security apparatus is not the Armed Kriminal Group (KKB) but is a resistance group of Papuans who oppose the power of Indonesian government and Freeport.
Based on his research, Cahyo justify the armed group is part of the National Liberation Army of West Papua (TPNPB) within the area of ​​Military Command III in Timika. But he admits he does not know exactly who the leaders of this group. (

Wamena, Jubi – Jayawijaya Regency’s Government has not been able to reach 12 indicator of minimum service standard (SPM) in health sector, which is conditions to make local area continues to push its health sector in accordance with the regulation of the minister of health.
“It slowly began to be fulfilled, for the sake of service to the community,” said Assistant I Sekda Jayawijaya, Living Wusono, after leading the commemoration ceremony of 53th National Health Day (HKN) on Monday (November 13).
Before setting up 12 indicators, SPM have 18 indicators. “We are currently working on a program that touches the community, such as assistance to the Puskesmas’ (local health centre) service,” said Live added.
Unfortunately he did not mention any indicator that has not been achieved, but he ensures has received various achievements in the field of health and it is the motivation to continue to improve performance.
Based on the regulation of health minister number 43 year 2016 on health service MSM, the 12 basic service indicators mentioned include maternal health services according to antenatal care standards, maternal health services, newborn health services, toddler health services, health services at the age of basic education, health services at the productive age.(*)