Papua Police name 13 suspects for deadly Wamena unrest

Papua Police name 13 suspects for deadly Wamena unrest – National – The Jakarta Post

The Papua Police have named 13 people suspects for allegedly having been behind the recent deadly unrest in Wamena, Jayawijaya regency, which caused tens of thousands of residents to flee their homes.

Ten suspects, whose ages range from 16 to 40 years, were already in the custody, while the remaining three are still at large and being hunted by the police, Papua Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. AM Kamal said on Monday.

“The three wanted [suspects] are categorized as provocateurs and are allegedly involved in the KNPB [National Committee of West Papua] and the ULMWP [United Liberation Movement for West Papua],” Kamal said as quoted by kompas.com.

The Indonesian government has blamed both the ULMWP, led by UK-based Papuan exile Benny Wenda, and the affiliated KNPB for orchestrating the unrest that broke out on Sept. 23.

Police investigators claimed they found indications the three were involved with the groups after collecting the testimony of the arrested suspects and witnesses, he said.

Wamena saw violent unrest on Sept. 23 as a mob, reportedly of native Papuans, set hundreds of buildings, including shophouses and government offices, and cars on fire and attacked other residents with weapons.

The turmoil, which the government estimated to have caused material losses amounting to Rp 479.5 billion (US$33.8 million), claimed the lives of at least 33 people, most of whom were non-native Papuans, and injured at least 76 others, according to authorities.

As of Sunday, about 1,726 residents were still staying at a number of evacuation sites, while another 15,544 had left Wamena for other cities across the country after the riots, the Social Ministry said.

Kamal said the police would possibly name more suspects. (gis)

Papua Police name 13 suspects for deadly Wamena unrest – National – The Jakarta Post

Call for Jihadis to go to West Papua following unrest

Johnny Blades, RNZ Pacific Journalistjohnny.blades@rnz.co.nz

Indonesia's Front Jihad Islam looks to recruit jihadis to take up arms in West Papua Photo: Supplied
Indonesia’s Front Jihad Islam looks to recruit jihadis to take up arms in West Papua Photo: Supplied

Jihadis are being encouraged to go and fight in West Papua by Indonesian Muslim hardliners.

Front Jihad Islam, or FJI, issued a call to arms in the Indonesia-ruled Papuan provinces after non-Papuan settlers were among the victims of recent violence there.

Unrest has surged in Papua region since August, including a day of rioting and violence in the Highlands city of Wamena two weeks ago when about 30 people were killed.

The unrest came off the back of widespread public demonstrations by West Papuans protesting against racism and calling for a referendum on independence from Indonesia.

According to Indonesia’s government, more than 11,500 people have been evacuated from Wamena since then due to safety fears. That many of these people are settlers from other parts of Indonesia has caused concern and prompted action back in Java.

FJI has been busy spreading its message online, replete with videoed torching of the Papuan Morning Star Flag and banners calling for Jihadis to be recruited for fighting in Papua against Papuans.

That’s a concern to Saiful Islam Payage, the head of Papua’s chapter of the Ulema Council, Indonesia’s top Muslim clerical body.

“I am very worried. So, I strongly forbid the Laskar who are in the name of religion for war or jihad in Papua,” he said.

He said that for now, there were only demonstrations in Java, and that no mobilisation of jihadis had yet occurred in the Papuan provinces. But he warned that if hardliners sought to bring their brand of divisiveness to Papua, he would have them expelled.

Indonesia's Front Jihad Islam looks to recruit jihadis to take up arms in Papua Photo: Supplied
Indonesia’s Front Jihad Islam looks to recruit jihadis to take up arms in Papua Photo: Supplied

Indonesian human rights researcher Andreas Harsono said that following recent violence in Wamena, a number of Islamic groups mobilised in Javanese cities.

Those organisations had been making two types of public calls – one, from a Muslim NGO network, was urging people to donate to humanitarian assistance for victims of the unrest in Wamena and other parts of Papua.

The other, from the likes of the FJI and the Islamic Defenders Front, was a call to recruit jihadis to go to Papua and protect fellow Muslims.

According to Mr Harsono, his concern stems from the way that most Indonesians have limited knowledge of the situation in Papua and the context of widespread human rights abuses there.

“Most victims are indigenous Papuans. Many Indonesians do not know the problems there,” he said.

“But because of emotions, because of sentiment, Muslim sentiment, they might think that fellow Muslims are being victimised in Papua. Thus, they will provide the ingredients to support these kind of misleading calls.”

While noting his concern, the researcher also said that he didn’t deem the threat as major currently because as yet no cleric of significant influence had called for jihadis in Papua.

Furthermore, Mr Harsono said that Indonesian military and police personnel were on hand to provide security in Wamena and other towns in a region where the population was predominantly Christian.

While Papua has generally enjoyed harmonious inter-religious relations, Mr Harsono said groups aggressively promoting sharia law already had a foothold in the region.

“We have one in Sorong; we are also seeing Laskar Jihad, a militant Muslim group, setting up a base in Keerom; also in Wamena – not militant, but quite aggressive.

“So these kinds of organisations are starting to appear in many parts of both Papua and West Papua provinces over the last decade.”

The presence of hardline Islamic campaigners in Keerom regency, which sits right on the border with Papua New Guinea, is not the only security concern along the 141st meridian east.

Land and sea access points between the two countries were closed last weekafter two people died in a shootout near the border on the Indonesian side where there’s been a troop build-up.

The governor of PNG’s West Sepik province, Tony Wouwou, said fellow Melanesians on the other side looked to flee across the border to safety in PNG.

But he said having Indonesian military in pursuit of them brought risk for his people.

“I’m a bit scared. I’m worried if my people go across and you never know what could happen. They might get bullet wounds or something because the Indonesians might think we’re Wamenas [people from Wamena] and all this, and receive a wound, and maybe our people will retaliate or something. I don’t want that to happen.”

He said the border entry point to Indonesia should remain closed until security threats abate.

Source: RNZ

WPRA Strongly Condemns the Killing of Students and Civilians by TNI/ Polri

From the Central Defense Headwaters of West Papua Revolutionary Army (WPRA), Amunggut Tabi, Gen. WPRA hereby

STRONGLY CONDEMNS

the brutal unlawful shootings against un-armed students and civilians who are demonstrating against violation of human dignity by Indonesian TNI and Police officers as well as Indonesian teachers calling Melanesians as “monkeys”.

This time the shootings and killings happened in Wamena and Jayapura on 23 September 2019, adding the numbers to hundreds of thousands of Melanesians, man, women and children, young, adult and children, male and female.

This Nazism of Indonesia and inhuman government should end its occupation over the Republic of West Papua and the international community must respond to humanitarian crises happening for so long.

Issued at: Central Headwaters of WPRA
On Date: 24 September 2019

Secretary-General,

Signed


Amunggut Tabi, Gen. WPRA
BRN: A.DF 018676

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