West Papua Police chief orders capture of TPNPB troops dead or alive

West Papua Police Chief Inspector General Daniel Tahi Monang Silitonga when met after the Traffic Anniversary activity at the Arfak Convention hall Mapolda on Thursday (22/9/2022).

Manokwari, Jubi – West Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Daniel T.M. Silitonga ordered the arrest of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) troops who were still spreading terror against civilians in Maybrat, Southwest Papua. He warned the police members not to let their guard down.

“We have raised our status to Siaga 1 (alert) against the armed criminal group in Maybrat. The criminals must be arrested dead or alive,” said the chief in Manokwari on Wednesday night, December 28, 2022.

Silitonga said that police as well as personnel of the Indonesian Military (TNI) had taken control of the Maybrat area which the TPNPB had previously occupied.

“Until now Maybrat is in a conducive situation. The Police and TNI conduct periodic evaluations with the Maybrat Administration. We ensure that the video circulating about the TPNPB controlling the Kmurkek District is not true,” he said.

He said that routine and measured patrols by the Police and TNI would ensure the overall security of Maybrat.

“The video claiming to control Kmurkek on Christmas Eve is not true. At 06.00 a.m. all personnel made sure the conditions there were safe,” he added.

The police have spread the identities of a number of TPNPB members who are on the wanted list in a series of attacks on military posts and civilian road workers.

Meanwhile, the Papua Peace Network (JDP) calls on the West Papua Police, which has declared Siaga 1 security status in Maybrat Regency, to continue to prioritize a peaceful approach to protect civilians.

JDP spokesperson Cristian Yan Warinussy said the armed conflict between the TNI and police and the TPNPB had often been at the expense of the civilians’ lives.

“Sometimes, civilians are arrested and prosecuted to account for a certain event even though they are not involved and do not even know anything about it,” Warinussy told Jubi on Friday.

Warinussy said the handling of the case of the attack on the military post in Kisor should be a lesson to prevent the criminalization of Maybrat civilians. He said that the raise in Maybrat’s security status to Siaga I should not be used as a justification for committing violence that places civilians as victims. (*)

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