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Intimidation and terror to serve foreign investments

West Papua News Editorial - October 4, 2004

West Papua has never been known to the world politics, except for its rich natural resources. Many countries have contributed to various catastrophes facing the beings who live in this western half of New Guiea Island, the world's second largest island.

In September and October 2004 alone, there have been a number of reported incidents where the Indonesian army, fully trained, fully armed and equipped by the western powers have been hunting down tribal peoples who honestly and directly refuse to get along with the foreign vested interests activities in the territory.

On October 2004, in Paniai Region of Enarotali Regenci, Disctrict Obano, under the leadership of current Indonesian armed forces commander, May. Gen. Nurni Zailan MM ordered the attack on gardens, houses, villages, and the killings of animals and the peoples.

According to the report received by WPNews, five villages became targets in a recent military operations: Tipakotu, Kotomoma, Yametadi, Uakotopa, and Wiyogei.

The attack occured early morning when the army fired arms, and villagers scattered and ran to the bush due to the fear of death. Fifteen (15) people were shot on that morning alone; five people dead, and ten others are in critical condition. The five who were killed were local villagers, who were on their way to escape from the attack:

1. Yusak Pigome (Tribal Elder)
2. Elisabet Boma (Mother).
3. Rev. Yusuf Tebay (Church Elder)
4. Benny Uti (Youth)
5. Bernadus Pigai (Child)

Not only humans, but also pigs and other domesticated animals were also completely killed off as the operation went on.

On October 07, 2004, another youth from Baliem Valley by the name of Frans Oagay was killed by the Indonesian Special Forces (Kopassus), accusing him of being drunk and not controlling himself. He was killed in Hom Hom village, about one kilometres from Wamena town. He was killed by a sudden shooting from a hiding place when on the way to his home.

Meanwhile in Wamena, some 2 hours to fly from Obano District, two tribespersons who were suspected as the "rebels" (even though they were actually innocent) were brought to the court and sentenced for 15 and 20 years imprisonment. Both Yerenggy Murib and Jigi Jigibalom were charged without any convinving proof of their crime. The lawyers assisting the two prisoners are preparing to challenge the decision.

Some weeks before that, on 14 September 2004, two people in Ilu District of Puncak Jaya Regency (half way between Wamena and Obano) were both shot dead. While the daughter of the church elder Elis Tabuni is in a critical condition due to the shooting in the village. She has been shot on her right ear and the bullet went out to her face. Her father died on the spot.

The killings, intimidatin and terror in West Papua have been systematically carried out by the Indonesian army and police without any pressures from the international communities who claim to be promoting and protecting human rights and fighting for democracy.

Radio Netherlands reported on 3 September 2004 that the Indonesian army has carried out systematic arrests, intimdation, terrorism and killings all over the territory of West Papua. The Indonesian National Commussion on Human Rights reported to the Radio Nederland that these brutalities have been fully sponsored by the state.

The Commission furthermore outlined that the violations of human rights in West Papua is categorised as a gross violation, and state-crime against humanity.

It also demanded the Attorney General to form a Special Judiciary Committee to further investigate the Commission's finding and to bring those perpetrators to justice.

However, WPNews is not in a position to believe that such a demand will be fulfilled. The killers of Papuan peoples so far have been regarded by Indonesian nationalists as the heroes of the state. The killer of Theys Eluay on 11 NOvember 2001 for example was sentenced only for 3 years, while others were released as they were regarded as heroes.

Recently, Theys' killing was in fact related to the biggest logging operations in West Papua, owned by the Indonesian military, PT Hanurata. In fact his corpse was thrown out nearby the headquarter of the company, West Koya, before the border between West Papua and East Papua (PNG).

The fate of his driver, Aris Masoka has never been known so far. His parents are still requesting the military to give an explanation but there has never been a response from the army.

The kiilings, intimidation and terror in West Papua are carried out by at leat four state-apparatuses: (1) the Indonesian Speial Forces (Kopassus); (2) The Indonesian organic and non-organic troops, (3) The Indonesian militia, and (4) the military-backed Laskar Jihad, related to the Jemaah Islamiyah and other radical islamic groups in Indonesia.

All of them are fully trained, funded, equipped and supported by the interests on the rich natural resources in the region. The Papuans now already know, that the killers of the Papuan peoples are not really the military machines of Indonesia, but the multinationals and foreign powers who want their resources and who are not interested in the nature, the environment and humanity. Those who search for and plunder the nature and killing our planet earth are accountable for what is happening now in West Papua.