Monday, January 29, 2007

Report by Ecumenical Council of Papuan churches

The Pastoral Team of Persekutuan Gereja-gereja di Papua (Ecumenical Council of Papuan churches) led by Rev Lipiyus Biniluk visited Mulia town from 16 to 18 January 2007. People in the Puncak Jaya regency area experience fear as a consequence of the armed conflict between the separatist group TPN/OPM led by Goliat Tabuni and military and police units in December 2006. As of 22 January, PGGP had already asked the Dewan Perwakilam Rakyat Provinsi Papua (Papua Provincial Legislative Assembly) through Commission F to facilitate a meeting with members of the DPRP, in particular with the DPRP Chairman, the Governor of Papua, the Head of the Provincial Police and the Head of Military for Trikora XVII, in order to deal with the humanitarian problem in Mulia. However, as of the writing of this report, there has no response.

The Executive Board of PGGP (Bishop Leo L. Ladjar, Rev. Lipiyus Biniluk, Rev. Andreas Ayomi and Rev. Herman Saud) concluded that "we the priests of the religious communities can wait no longer considering the situation of our congregations who are evacuating, suffering from starvation, sickness and fear while the Government of the Puncak Jaya Regency is busy preparing its Regent elections. In the light of our priority to make Papua a Land of Peace, we herewith directly report to the people of Papua what we have heard, seen and experienced ourselves in order to take steps in overcoming the humanitarian emergency situation."

Therefore they recommended:

1. To the Provincial Government of Papua to immediately support the Government of the Puncak Jaya Regency with humanitarian assistance in order to solve the humanitarian emergency situation in the Yamo District;

2. To the Government of the Puncak Jaya Regency to take immediate steps handling the emergency situation in particular the refugee problem in the Yamo District;

3. To TPN/ OPM, the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the Indonesian Police to guarantee the security of delivered food supplies and medical teams from any side so that the refugees will obtain
needed help in a humane way and as quickly as possible.

4. The decrease of non-organic military troops, units of the intelligence service and the Mobil Forces of the Police (Brimob) and the centering of these troops in the Capital town of the Regency and District in order to decrease fear and trauma experienced by local people and to avoid potential conflicts with the local population so that an atmosphere of safety can be restored as soon as possible.

5. To the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) in Papua to make an investigation soon in order to reveal the activators of the series of violent acts which caused deaths and loss of
personal properties;

6. To all sides to quickly stop any politicization which sacrifices the people of Puncak Jaya.

Thus we report to the people of Papua and hope for common efforts to create Papua as a Land of Peace which is protected and blessed by the Almighty God.

Chronology of Violence

13 November 2006: Riots occur in Mulia after the distribution of direct financial help (fuel compensation). According to witnesses the violence broke out because the names of one part of the local population were not on the list of people receiving monetary compensation. Another source in Puncak Jaya said that the perpetrators of the riots were youths who some time before were facilitated by the local political elite involved in determining criteria for the future Regent candidates in the Puncak Jaya Regency elections for the period of 2007- 2012. The riots caused the country a financial loss reaching billions of Rupiah as governmental buildings and houses of members of the DPRD were destroyed and burned down by the mass.

8 December 2006: Two members of the military forces, Joko Susanto (Kopassus) and Tobias Sirken (retired military officer), are killed by armed separatists and their corpses burned. The killings occur the same day the separatist's Morning Star flag is raised at Kumibaga mountain approximately 500 metres from the old town of Mulia and coincides with the declaration of Lukas Enembe and Drs. Henock Ibo as candidates for Regent and vice-regent. Following these incidents part of the population, especially civil servants outside Mulia, the families of officials and other citizens leave Mulia by air transportation through Timika, Nabire and Jayawijaya whereas others could not leave Mulia to go about their daily activities as all the streets in and out of town were restricted or blocked for security reasons.

24 December 2006: An even bigger Morning Star flag is raised at Kumibaga mountain. At the same time separatists shout "war invitations" towards the Regent candidates pairs Lukas Enembe and Drs. Henock Ibo as well as Elvis Tabuni and Rev. Paulus Tabuni. Various letters are also circulating in the name of Goliat Tabuni supporting the candidate pair Elieser Renmaur and Wakerkwa. This letter is neatly typed and written in very correct language.

27-28 December 2006: An increase of military troops in Mulia by helicopter is reported.

29 December 2006: The traditional house of the Head of the GIDI (Gereja Injili di Indonesia) congregation Laringgen Morib, approximately three kilometres from the old town of Mulia, is burned.

5 January 2007: separatists flee when Brimob troops arrive at the flag raising location. Afterwards the Indonesian military arrives establishing a permanent post and raising the Indonesian Flag. Not far from Laringgen Morib's burned house Brimob kills Gumi Morib (34) during a security operation.

6 - 7 January 2007: The Lani people in Yami Regency begin to evacuate. They leave from two GIDI areas to three other areas on the other side of the Yamo river. After a two days of heavy walking on foot, one part of the group reaches the village Kiyage. Two bridges of the Yamo river which connect the Yamo District with the Capital of Puncak Jaya Regency are destroyed by the refugees as they were afraid of military operations or of being chased by the military or supporters of Goliat Tabuni. The refugees leave all their livestock behind.

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