Ezra Sihite – The head of Indonesia's State Intelligence Agency (BIN) said on Monday that the separatist group the Free Papua Organization (OPM) are behind the runaway violence Jayapura.
"Surely they are members of OPM," Lt. Gen. Marciano Norman said after a meeting at House of Representatives on Monday. "It is a new development that the [OPM] political front in the city and the armed front that fights in the jungle are now combined. So the group that fights in the jungle has moved to the city."
The BIN chief said that a recent string of shootings in Jayapura was part of a bid to attract international attention to the restive province. Separatist groups in Papua are engaged in an ongoing fight for independence with the Indonesian military. The province was officially annexed in 1969.
Mahfudz Siddiq, head of the House Commission I, said the shootings were meant to coincide with the OPM's July 1 anniversary. "Police need to put an end to their hesitation and should strengthen their ties with the Indonesian military as people have demanded the police reveal the mastermind behind the violence," Mahfudz said.
But the OPM has denied the allegations, explaining that all OPM members have been ordered to stay at the organization's secret headquarters in preparation for the anniversary of the OPM's military win, the National Freedom Troop (TPN).
"All members have been gathering at our defense headquarters," Lambert Peukikier, the commander of the TPN office in Keerom, a neighboring district to Jayapura, told kompas.com on Monday.
At least 13 civilians and 15 members of Indonesian security forces have been killed in Papua in the past 18 months. The violence has intensified in Jayapura where at least seven people have been shot in the last week.
The latest incident occurred on Sunday when police found a local resident dead in front of Cenderawasih University in Jayapura.
An investigation into the spate of violence has found all sides pointing fingers. "I'm worry [this] will escalate public's distrust to the law enforcement," Mahfudz said. "This is bizarre, when talked to the people, [they said] they were suspicious of law enforcement. When we talked to the law enforcement, [they said] the perpetrators were armed civilians."