Jakarta – West Papua National Liberation Army-Free Papua Organisation (TPNPB-OPM) spokesperson Sebby Sambom says they are not prepared to hold a dialogue with or pursue diplomacy with the Indonesian government unless it is mediated by the United Nations.
"We, the TPNPB under the leadership of General Goliath Tabuni reject [a bipartite] dialogue with Jakarta", said Sambom when contacted by CNN Indonesia by SMS on Saturday May 29.
However they are urging the Indonesian government to hold tripartite negotiations with the TPNPB-OPM Tabuni leadership and all components of the Papua liberation movement who have been resisting Jakarta rule.
This dialogue, he said, must be mediated by a third party, and the third part must come from the United Nations.
"We don't have an agenda for a dialog, but our agenda is tripartite negotiations, namely negotiations mediated by a UN organisational body", he said.
"So a Jakarta-Papua dialogue will not be realised, if the main actor is not involved", he explained.
Earlier, the TPNPB-OPM designated Puncak Ilaga, Papua, as a battle ground against joint forces from the TNI (Indonesian military) and Polri (Indonesian police). They designated this region because it is far away from civilian settlements and will not endanger Papuan civilians.
On the other hand, the TNI is not concerned about the designation of Puncak Ilaga as a battle ground to fight the OPM.
However Regional Representatives Council (DPD) member from Papua, Filep Wamafma, is asking that the Indonesian government endeavour to open diplomatic communications with the TPNPB-OPM rather than conducting an open war in Ilaga.
"I hope that there will be political diplomacy between the TNI, Polri and the OPM in order to reach the best solution, to safeguard civilians", Wamafma told CNN Indonesian on Friday May 28.
CNN Indonesia has attempted to contact Join Regional Defense Command III spokesperson Colonel Czi IGN Suriastawa and Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Mahfud MD by text message and telephone about the offer to mediate with the involvement of the UN.
As of this article being published however, neither Suriastawa nor Mahfud have responded. (tst/DAL)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Jubir OPM Mau Ambil Jalur Diplomasi dengan RI Asal Ada PBB".]