Villages Raided and Protestors Confront Police in West Papua

Published September 3, 2019

West Papua

As of Monday, September 2, 2019, Indonesian security forces continued raiding villages in the Gome District of Puncak Regency. The number of civilians forced to leave their villages and flee to Yenggernok continues to rise and has reached around 1500 people.

Security forces began raiding a number of villages in the Gome District on August 24th, 2019 to repress the West Papuan National Liberation Army (TPNPB). The raid immediately caused 800 civilians to flee to Yenggernok village, also in the Gome District. One Gome District resident who asked not to be identified for safety reasons stated that the number of refugees has now increased to around 1500 people.

Based on his observations, the displaced people come from Misimaga, Agiyome, Gome, Kelaungin, Ninggabuma, Tegelobak, Upage, Wako and Yonggolawi villages. Some of the refugees are being housed in makeshift tents, others are being housed in a church, and are scattered among the homes of 17 residents in Yenggernok.

One of the refugees, Mama Waker, stated that over the last few days the food supplies for the refugees have begun running low. “We want to take food from the gardens, but it is difficult because the security forces are occupying the community gardens. We are being forced to wait for food assistance from the government,” they said.

One of the refugee volunteers in Yenggernok, Torius Tabuni, said that since the raids by security forces began on August 24th, 2019, he had received information regarding the deaths of four civilians in Gome. A resident named Ginobinok Tabuni (60) died after being trapped in a burning home on Saturday, August 24th, 2019.

Minanggen Wakerkwa (60) died on Monday, August 26th, 2019, while fleeing through the forest and was buried by his family. A high school student named Yul Magai (18) died from gunshot wounds.

Last week at least six people died in the Papuan town Deiyai, after police shot at protestors.

West Papua
Hundreds of protestors confronted police officers holding riot shields in Manokwari, the West Papua provincial capital. Officers prevented demonstrators from marching.

Protests have been raging across the vast Papua region of Indonesia since August 19.

The colonizers have cut internet and phone access in many areas of Papua.

Papua came under Indonesian sovereignty in 1969 in a vote generally considered to be a sham. Since then authorities in the region have violently repressed and discriminated against Papuans.

Last week protestors torched at least 12 government buildings in Jayapura, and at least 1,000 demonstrators occupied the governor’s office in the city in the continued fight against colonialism.”

In July, all military leaders of the TPNPB (West Papua National Liberation Army) gathered in Ilaga, Papua to conduct meetings to continue guerrilla warfare against the Indonesian Colonial Military occupation in the ancestral lands of the Papuans.