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Plan to form truth commission effort to cover up rights abuses in Papua: ULMWP

Suara Papua - June 10, 2024

Elisa Sekenyap, Jayapura – Over the last two weeks, social media has been flooded with the humanitarian call embodied in the phrase "All Eyes On Rafah".

This call has been uploaded on various social media platforms in more than 50 million uploads, as a reaction to the civilian casualties in Rafah, Palestine, due to the latest Israeli attacks, and the recent Palestinian conflict which has been going on since October 2023.

The Indonesian government through its foreign minister has condemned the attitude of the Israeli government in handling the conflict. This situation however is inversely proportional to the conflict in West Papua, which has truly been neglected by the public nationally and internationally.

Conflicts and violence in the land of Papua, which have been ongoing since the Indonesian occupation began 61 years ago (May 1963-2024), still continue and have not experience any significant change.

Opposition and a legal fight back against the threat of ecocide facing the Awyu tribe in Boven Digoel and Mappi regencies along with plans to establish a 2 million hectare sugar cane plantation in Merauke regency has begun to received public attention.

The "All Eyes On Papua" campaign supporting the Awyu and Moi indigenous tribes has received widespread attention in West Papua, Indonesia and among the international community.

"Therefore, on this occasion, we must convey that over the 61 years of Indonesia's occupation of West Papua, the Papuan people have experienced what is called a slow motion genocide, ethnocide and ecocide".

"President Joko (Jokowi) Widodo and his cabinet pawn off the natural resources of the Papuan nation to get loans from international donor institutions and countries and to pay off the Indonesian government's debt which has now reached 8,338 trillion rupiah", said United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Executive President Manase Tabuni in Jayapura, Papua, on Monday June 10.

Tabuni also said, in relation to the armed resistance and conflict in West Papua between the TNI (Indonesian military), Polri (Indonesian police) and the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB), that the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) has reported that from January to May there were 41 incidents of violence. Komnas HAM Papua says that these violent incidents have resulted in the death of 32 people and 21 people injured.

"If looked at, the Indonesian government has been actively calling for peace at the international level, but does not have a road map to resolve the conflict in Papua. The Indonesian government always uses the argument that Papua was given special autonomy status volume one in 2001-2021, which has failed, and the enforced special autonomy volume two from 2021 on, which is now being implemented under the strict control of the central government".

"Another argument is implementing the division of government administration areas, both provincial and district, which is immediately followed by the addition of TNI as well as Polri territorial command headquarters".

As of December 2023, said Tabuni, Indonesia had already deployed 47,261 military personnel in Papua, where around 24,000 personnel had been mobilised in conflict areas that are still turbulent.

"So the division of the administrative area carried out by the Indonesian government in West Papua is a political project of the Indonesian occupation to accelerate the process of exterminating the Papuan people in their own ancestral land", he said.

Thus, he said, he is yet to see a comprehensive model or approach carried out by the Indonesian government to resolve cases of human rights violations in the land of Papua.

Meanwhile, ULMWP Executive Secretary Markus Haluk said that Komnas HAM and several other networks in Papua are more inclined to encourage the formation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission or KKR, based on the Special Autonomy Law regulations.

Therefore the ULMWP is of the view that the formation of a KKR is a disguised attempt to hide cases of Papuan human rights violations from international scrutiny.

"We consider this a way to hide the cases in Papua from international attention. A KKR for Papuans who are victims of human rights violations will mean they're only compensated with money, while no justice will be provided. This was proven when the 2000 Abepura and 2014 Paniai cases were brought to a human rights court, the perpetrators were acquitted. Papuan people will never get justice under the Republic of Indonesia's legal system", said Haluk.

He also said that the government has strictly banned humanitarian institutions, social workers and international journalists from visiting West Papua. According to Haluk, this policy is an effort to cover up all of the human rights violations committed by the government in the land of Papua.

ULMWP itself, he said, has received information on a covert policy plan coordinated through the Coordinating Ministry for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs (Kemenko Polhukam), which will pursue several strategic measures to stop all efforts in the West Papua nation's struggle.

The policy, said Haluk, is being carried out through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the TNI, Polri, the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) and other institutions under the coordination of the Kemenko Polhukam. Where the policy is targeting that by 2045, to coincide with 100 years of the Republic of Indonesia, separatism in Papua will be eliminated.

Looking at the situation described above, the ULMWP is calling for:

  • The United Nations Human Rights Council to immediately form a fact-finding mission to investigate cases of human rights violations in West Papua and review Indonesia's membership of the council, because up until now it has failed to respect international humanitarian legal instruments;
  • The Indonesian government to immediately open access for Papua New Guinea (PNG) Prime Minister the Hon. James Marape and Fiji Prime Minister the Hon. Sitiveni Rabuka, in line with the results of the Pacific Communication in November 2023 in the Cook Islands, to visit Indonesia to conduct a dialogue with the Indonesian government regarding the West Papua conflict;
  • Melanesian, Pacific and Africa leaders along with the international community to take action and firm and concrete steps to save the Papuan nation from three big threats: slow motion genocides, ethnocide and ecocide by Indonesia in West Papua;
  • ULMWP strategic institutions and partners to continue to increase cooperation in the context of encouraging advocacy for a peaceful and dignified resolution to the West Papua problem;
  • The victims of human rights violations and the ordinary people of West Papua to be careful with the idea of a KKR, which is being pushed by Komnas HAM and several other local institutions, because it aims to dampen the campaigns and advocacy over Papuan human rights issues at the regional and international level.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "ULMWP: Pembentukan KKR Upaya Menyembunyikan Pelanggaran HAM Papua Dari Perhatian Internasional".]

Source: https://suarapapua.com/2024/06/10/ulmwp-pembentukan-kkr-upaya-menyembunyikan-pelanggaran-ham-papua-dari-perhatian-internasional