APSN Banner

Stop training with the Indonesian military

Australian West Papua Association Statement (Sydney) - October 21, 2021

Up to 200 Indonesian military personal are taking part in a joint military exercise with Australian troops in the NT.

Meanwhile in West Papua, thousands of civilians flee Indonesian military operations in the Maybrat region.

According to the Civil Society Coalition for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) more than 2768 indigenous Papuans from 50 Villages in the districts Aifat Selatan, Aifat Timur, Aifat Timur Jauh, Aifat Timur Tengah and Aifat Timur Selatan have fled their homes.

They fear being arbitrarily arrested or tortured during the security force operation in Maybrat, which has been ongoing since 2 September 2021. The IDPs sought shelter (see photo, source: independent HRDs) in the nearby districts Aiyawasi, Kumurkek, Aitinyo, and other regencies, such as South Sorong, Bintuni, and Sorong.

The coalition counted 40 elderly people, 4 pregnant women, 338 minors and 17 infants among IDPs originating from the Aifat Selatan District, only. As of 2 October 2021, 51 of these IDPs experience health issues. One IDP has reportedly died. (https://www.humanrightspapua.org/news/33-2021/897-update-on-situation-in-maybrat-more-than-2-768-indigenous-peoples-from-50-villages-displaced-as-security-force-operation-is-ongoing)

The International Coalition for Papua have posted a video showing a group of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the Kiwirok District.

The video shows about 60 people, mainly women, elderly people and children, sitting together in midst the jungle (see photo, video screenshot). One of the women is sharing raw leaves and several bananas among the children. Another woman raises her voice and appeals to the group in the indigenous Ngalum language: "Indonesia[n soldiers] came and burnt our villages to the ground. We have already fled to the forest for one month. There is hardly any food so all children must eat what we have."

Human rights activists in Pegunungan Bintang Regency have uploaded a video showing a group of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the Kiwirok District, Pegunungan Bintang Regency.

Joe Collins of AWPA said, "We have not heard a single word of concern from Canberra about the plight of West Papuans fleeing military operations or about the ongoing human rights abuses in the territory. Yet Vanuatu's Prime Minister Bob Loughman did when he addressed the 76th UN General Assembly" (by video link). He told the UN General Assembly that the indigenous people of West Papua continue to suffer human rights violations under Indonesian rule.

Joe Collins said, "Canberra is always ready to condemn human rights abuses in other parts of the world particularly if it also has US backing, but refuses to criticize Jakarta about abuses committed by its military in West Papua, one of our nearest neighbours.

Instead of increasing defence cooperation with the Indonesian military we should have a moratorium on all training with the Indonesian military and Canberra should be calling on Jakarta to halt all security force operations in the territory.

Statement-Moratorium on aid to Indonesian military: https://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com/2021/09/statement-monitorium-on-aid-to.html

Source: https://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com/2021/10/awpa-statement-stop-training-with.htm