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Bodies mount in Papua as fight against terror continues

Bodies mount in Papua as fight against terror continues

The bodies of four army personnel killed in a fatal attack launched by suspected Papua separatist terrorist group (Antara/ Ernes Broning Kakisina)

Four Indonesian army personnel died in a fatal attack launched by suspected Papuan separatist terrorists on Kisor military post in South Aifat sub-district, Maybrat district, West Papua province in the early hours of Thursday.

The four personnel have been confirmed dead while one more remains untraceable, according to spokesperson for the Regional Military Command XVIII/Kasuari, Lt.Col.Hendra Pesireron.

Members of an unidentified group ambushed the soldiers while they were sleeping at the post, he informed. 2nd Sergeant Amrosius, Chief Private Dirham, First Private Zul Ansari, and First Lieutenant Dirman died in the attack, he said.

The bodies of three soldiers were found at the post, while another was discovered in the bushes not far from the post, Pesireron said, adding that another soldier, First Private Ikbal, is not yet traceable.

The assault on the Kisor military post in West Papua has extended the list of armed violence cases in Papua and highlighted the grave danger posed by Papuan separatist terrorists.

Related news: Unidentified gunmen fatally shoot 5 people in Papua's Yahukimo

On August 22, 2021, a terrorist group attacked several construction workers of PT Indo Mulia Baru, who were responsible for erecting a bridge on Brazza River in Yahukimo district, Papua province.

Two workers, identified as Rionaldo Ratu Roma and Dedi Imam Pamungkas, died in the attack, according to director of Papua Police's Criminal Investigation Unit, Sen.Coms.Faisal Rahmadani.

The attackers also set their bodies and their pick-up truck on fire, he informed.

Members of the terrorist group also attacked several personnel from the Indonesian Police's Mobile Brigade (Brimob) unit when they went to the site of the shooting to evacuate the deceased workers' bodies, he said.

Four Brimob personnel sustained minor injuries, he said, adding that several construction workers were evacuated to Dekai, the capital of Yahukimo district, for safety reasons.

The members of the Tenius Gwijangge-led terrorist group might have used six firearms, including two 5.56 millimeter caliber SS1-V1 rifles, to carry out the attack, Rahmadani said.

Two assault rifles equipped with Trijicon, or optical sighting devices, used by the group may belong to the 423 Infantry Battalion (Airborne) of Army's Strategic Reserves Command (Kostrad), he added.

"Due to the 'Trijicon', the shooters could maintain their precision," he said, adding that the four other firearms used by the Tenius Gwijangge-led group could not yet be identified.

Related news: Beoga villagers' daughters harassed by armed Papuan criminals: priest

In the midst of the government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Papua and West Papua, the two provinces have been reeling from armed violence over the past few months of 2021.

In April this year, two teachers were killed by armed Papuan terrorists.

The first killing occurred on April 8, 2021, when several armed attackers opened fire at a kiosk in Julukoma village, Beoga sub-district, Puncak district.

The shooting resulted in the death of a Beoga public elementary school teacher, Oktovianus Rayo.

After killing Rayo, the armed attackers torched three classrooms at the Beoga public senior high school.

On April 9, 2021, separatist terrorists reportedly shot another teacher, Yonatan Randen, on the chest.

Several villagers tried to save the junior high school teacher and rushed him to the Beoga public health center, but he succumbed to his injuries.

On April 11, 2021, armed terrorists reportedly set nine classrooms at the Beoga public junior high school ablaze.

Related news: Wanted terrorist captured by Nemangkawi joint task force in Papua

Regarding the police's handling of acts of terror in Yahukimo district, the Nemangkawi Task Force recently arrested the head of Wusama sub-district, only identified by his initials EB.

EB was apprehended for his alleged role as a mastermind and for funding armed separatist terrorist groups operating in his area, said Rahmadani, who also heads the Nemangkawi Task Force's law enforcement unit.

EB was arrested at his home along with three other suspects, identified as EH, Y, and YH, on August 27, 2021, or five days after the attack on construction workers of PT Indo Mulia Baru, he said.

Meanwhile, another suspect, EH, drove a black car that was often sighted passing through Dekai on its way to Brazza River, where the construction workers were attacked on August 22.

EH told police investigators that a dozen Papuan terrorists were staying at EB's house. Based on this information, police officers were deployed to capture them on August 27 at 8 p.m.

During the raid, five suspects staying at a "honai" (traditional house) escaped, while EB and several other people who happened to be with him at his house were apprehended, he said.

Police named EB, Y, EH, and YH as suspects for the different roles they played in assisting the local separatist terrorist groups, Rahmadani said.

EH, the driver, frequently delivered supplies to the armed groups, Y is EB's nephew, whose primary duty was preparing the armed groups' logistics, while YH is an armed group member, he informed.

Rahmadani said YH was allegedly involved in a series of deadly attacks in Yahukimo district, including the ones that ended with the death of four workers in Bingki village, Seradala sub-district on June 29, 2021 and two construction workers on the Brazza River Bridge on August 22, 2021.

Related news: Armed Papuan terrorist group leader arrested in Dekai: Police

Indonesian military and police personnel stationed in Papua and West Papua are continuing to crackdown on perpetrators and bringing them to justice.

Papua's cycle of violence must be stopped through peaceful solutions. In this regard, the House of Representatives (DPR) has ratified the bill amending the Papua Special Autonomy Law No.21 of 2001.

The bill that the House members enacted during a plenary session on July 15, 2021 accommodates 18 revised chapters and two new chapters, according to head of the House's Special Committee for Amending the Papua Special Autonomy Law, Komarudin Watubun.

The enacted bill has accommodated the need to regulate the privileges of indigenous Papuans in the political, education, health, labor, and economic sectors, as well as to support customary communities.

It offers more room to native Papuans to get involved in politics and in such organizations as the Papuan People's Assembly (MRP) and Papua legislative councils (DPRK) in districts/cities.

At least 250 seats will now be reserved for native Papuans in district- and city-level Papua legislative councils (DPRK), Watubun disclosed.

At the same time, 30 percent of the DPRK seats will be reserved for native Papuan women, he added.

Related news: Autonomy law ensures rights of Papua's customary communities: official
Related news: Papua, West Papua welcome revised special autonomy law
 

 

 

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