Wamena, Jubi – The Kuyawage Truth Seeking Team, which consists of six representatives of community organizations including women leaders, youth leaders, church leaders, and students, as well as representatives of the Nduga Administration, investigates the alleged shootings and abductions of civilians and minors by joint Indonesian Military (TNI) and Police forces.
Nduga's women leader and rights activist Ragga Kogeya said that ever since the hostage-taking of New Zealand pilot Philip Mark Mehrtens by the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) on February 7, 2023, the TNI and Police have been conducting military operations in Kuyawage, Lanny Jaya Regency, Mountainous Papua Province.
"As a result, civilians fled to the forest, including children. They become victims of military violence," she said during a press conference in Wamena, Jayawijaya, on Saturday, April 15, 2023.
Kogeya said the Kuyawage Truth Seeking Team had recorded the victims of military violence. "A minor named Parena Karunggu (16) was shot in the back of the waist, and the bullet is still lodged in the body," she said.
Wity Unue (17) suffered torture and died in detention. Preson Gwijangge (15) is still in military custody but his whereabouts is not yet known by the family.
Ependak Karunggu (15) was tortured, while Cerita Telenggen (25), Kejar Murib (15), and Oumeka Tabuni (28) are still in detention but their whereabouts are unknown.
"Those children are not part of the TPNPB, they are students. We are disappointed with the TNI and Police because they have also falsified one of the victim's identities, namely Wity Unue, who is 17 years old but was made 31 years old," she said.
Kogeya also asked the TNI and Police to immediately report to the victim's family regarding the whereabouts of their children. "So the families know whether they are still alive or have been killed," she said.
Kogeya also hopes that the President, the Minister of Law and Human Rights, the TNI commander, and the police chief immediately withdraw organic and non-organic troops from all of Papua, especially Nduga and Kuyawage.
She also asked the local governments namely Nduga, Lanny Jaya, and Puncak administrations to ensure the security of civilians.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chairman I of the Nduga People Council Alimi Gwijangge said that many civilians fell victims in the military operation of the TNI and Police.
"We have found a lot of evidence. The council have seen a lot. We need to negotiate with the police chief and the military command in Nduga," he said. (*)