Tensions rise as TPNPB alleges TNI of civilian shootings in Intan Jaya

Illustration photo. - pixabay.com

Nabire, Jubi – The West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) accuses the Indonesian Military (TNI), namely the Infantry Battalion 330 division, of shooting three civilians in Sugapa District’s Titigi Village, Intan Jaya Regency, Central Papua Province.

The shootings occurred on two separate occasions. The first incident took place on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, around 10:25 p.m. local time. Two civilians were shot, namely Selli Maiseni (17), who was wounded in the arm, and Makelon Hagisimijau (15), who was shot in the thigh.

The second incident occurred on March 1, 2024, when a civilian named Nelson Sani (16) was shot in the left arm, piercing through the abdomen, resulting in his death. This occurred during an exchange of fire between joint security forces and the TPNPB.

“We allege that the three were shot by the TNI’s Infantry Battalion 330, tasked with securing the elections, claiming civilian lives,” said TPNPB leader of the Kodap VIII Intan Jaya, Yosua Maiseni, to Jubi on Sunday (3/3/2024).

Yosua Maiseni reported that Selli Maiseni (17) and Makelon Hagisimijau (15) were shot while on their way to observe the vote counting for the Indonesian Legislative and Presidential elections in Titigi. They were shot en route.

Yosua stated that before the incident, the two youths had participated in the elections. However, without valid reasons, they were allegedly shot by the TNI.

“Hence, all members of the Infantry Battalion 330 throughout Intan Jaya should be immediately withdrawn to Jakarta. The TNI has carried out numerous shootings against civilians in Intan Jaya, from school-aged children to the elderly. Some were fatally shot, while others are still alive to this day, like Mainus Bagubau, who was shot in Jalai Village in 2020, among many other cases,” he said.

Yosua questioned why the TNI took over the police’s function during the elections in Intan Jaya, leading to shootings of Selli Maiseni and Mikalon Yoani.

“They (TNI) didn’t come to secure the elections but to kill civilians who know nothing,” he said.

Sugapa District Head Misael Sondegau confirmed the shooting of three civilians in Intan Jaya.

“It’s true that two civilians named Makelon Hagisimijau (15) and Selli Maiseni (17) were shot. They were shot while on their way from Watapa to Titigi. Currently, they are being treated by their families in Watapa,” he said.

However, Sondegau stated that he has yet to identify the perpetrator because the incident occurred far from Sugapa.

“I cannot confirm the shooter of the two civilians as the location is far from Sugapa,” he said.

Meanwhile, on March 2, chaos erupted during a plenary meeting, and security forces opened fire, hitting one civilian named Nelson Sani. He was shot in Mamba Village, Sugapa District.

“Nelson Sani was then taken from Sugapa to Timika. He died on the plane, and his body was transported from Timika to Nabire. Currently, his body is being laid to rest in Nabire,” he said.

Sondegau stated that the situation in Intan Jaya is still tense, with the TPNPB and the TNI on high alert.

TNI denies

XVII/Cenderawasih Regional Military Command Head of Information Lt. Col. Inf Candra Kurniawan denied information stating that TNI soldiers allegedly shot two civilians in Sugapa.

“The news is a hoax deliberately spread by the TPNPB and its sympathizers to defame the security forces,” said Chandra.

Chandra stated that there were no shootings or exchanges of fire in Sugapa District on Wednesday. “So, it was intentionally spread by the TPNPB and its sympathizers amid the ongoing General Elections,” he said. (*)

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