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Call for justice over Papua killings, amid mass displacement

Radio New Zealand - February 25, 2021

Amnesty International has voiced concern about ongoing deadly conflict in West Papua.

In recent weeks, conflict between the pro-independence West Papua Liberation Army and Indonesia's security forces has intensified in Intan Jaya regency.

Three West Papuan men were killed last week in Bilogai village by Indonesia's military which alleged the men were members of the Liberation Army who shot dead an Indonesian soldier the previous day. The Liberation Army said the men were civillians.

Amnesty's Indonesia office has called for an immediate, independent investigation into the killings.

It said such deadly attacks had become repetitive in Papua, inflicting suffering on civillians who flee to the bush or neighbouring districts to escape violence and raids by security forces.

Papua conflict displaces thousands

Armed clashes between the West Papua National Liberation Army and Indonesian security forces have caused the internal displacement of thousands of indigenous Papuans from Nduga, Intan Jaya and Mimika regencies.

Over 600 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Bilogai and nearby villages in Intan Jaya have fled their homes after the violence escalated when Liberation Army guerillas killed a trader in Bilogai on 8 February.

They are currently seeking shelter with the Catholic Church in the regency. Researchers say the vast majority of IDPs in West Papua originate from Nduga Regency where the conflict intensified two years ago.

About 8,000 of them have sought shelter in neighbouring Jayawijaya Regency. Since then, according to solidarity groups, 400 IDPs have died in Jayawijaya due to diseases and other strains.

Source: https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/437161/call-for-justice-over-papua-killings-amid-mass-displacemen