Jayapura, Jubi – Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Mathius D Fakhiri on Wednesday, March 29, 2023, said his party wanted to ensure that security disturbances in Puncak Jaya did not further widen. “For Puncak, we immediately do serious handling,” he said.
According to Fakhiri, security disturbances by the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) have repeatedly occurred since early 2023. A number of attacks caused casualties on the part of both soldiers, police, and civilians.
Fakhiri urged civilians not to travel to places far from the observation of security forces, both the Police and the Indonesian Military (TNI). “I have also called on TPNPB members to immediately cooperate with all stakeholders, while providing security guarantees so that security disturbances do not recur,” Fakhiri said.
The following is a series of security disturbances that occurred in Puncak Regency:
1. On January 23, 2023, an armed group shot dead a motorcycle taxi driver on the Ilame Bridge, Wako Village, Gome District.
2. On January 24, 2023, armed groups attacked a member of the TNI at Sinak Market, Sinak District.
3. On February 18, 2023, armed groups burned down a house and engaged in a shootout with security forces in Ilaga.
4. On March 3, 2023, armed groups attacked a TNI post and shot dead one TIN soldier and a civilian in Pamebut Village, Yugu Muak District. However, TPNPB stated that the civilian was shot by security forces.
5. On March 22, 2023, armed groups shot dead a motorcycle taxi driver at the Kimak road junction, Ilaga District. (*)
In addition, Fakhiri reminded his members not to respond excessively to the burning of houses and the Gome District Office, Puncak Regency, Central Papua Province on Tuesdays (28/3/2023). According to him, such arson is a strategy of the perpetrators to provoke the security forces to pursue the perpetrators.
“I ask the officers in the field not to respond excessively. Because usually the motive for the West Papua National Liberation Army armed group to burn [is] hoping that the officers will respond and then be shot at,” Fakhiri said.
“I have reminded every rank, if there is an incident in the afternoon or evening not to respond immediately. Wait for the afternoon, then respond and carry out crime scene processing,” he said.
Fakhiri assessed that the series of incidents in several vulnerable areas was motivated by a motive to show the existence of each armed group. He considered that the various attacks were uncorrelated events.
“That’s why I hope the authorities in the field can scrutinize it well. Except for the incidents in Nduga and Lanny Jaya, of course it is of more concern, because it can interfere with the efforts of the authorities to rescue the Susi Air pilot who is currently still being held hostage by the Egianus Kogoya group,” he said.
Previously, TPNPB reportedly burned three houses in Gome District, Puncak Regency on Tuesday. “Disturbances from armed groups resulted in three houses being burned down,” said Head of the Cartenz Peace Operation Public Relations Task Force Sr. Comr. Donny Charles Go. (*)