Papua Governor: Negotiate with Indonesia state in regard of independence

Armed groups declaring themselves the National Liberation Army of West Papua (TPN-PB) region III operating around Timika - IST
Armed groups declaring themselves the National Liberation Army of West Papua (TPN-PB) region III operating around Timika – IST

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. (

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