Search for Armed Criminals Intensifies, Civilians Must Be Protected
With the increase in the intensity the search, a number of parties have warned that the protection of civilians in Papua should remain a priority.
Fabio Maria Lopes Costa
·5 menit baca
JAYAPURA, KOMPAS — After the government officially declared armed criminal groups (KKB) in Papua as terrorists at the end of April, joint security forces continued to hunt for those believed to be part of the groups. Four members were shot dead during gunfire with security forces in the last three days.
With the increase in the intensity the search, a number of parties have warned that the protection of civilians in Papua should remain a priority. Do not let law enforcement operations cause civilian casualties.
On Sunday (16/5/2021), the Nemang Kawi Task Force (Satgas) consisting of Indonesian Military (TNI) and National Police personnel reported that they had shot dead two members of an armed criminal group (KKB) led by Lekagak Telenggen in Mayuberi, Puncak regency, Papua. The incident occurred during a firefight between security forces and the KKB at the Mayuberi bridge at around 3 a.m. on Sunday. A member of the KKB was reportedly injured by gunfire but was able to escape.
The head of the public relations of the Nemangkawi task force, Sr. Comr. Iqbal Alqudusy, who was in Ilaga, Puncak regency, on Sunday, said that no security personnel and civilians were injured during the gunfire. The activities of the community in Ilaga, the capital of Puncak, continued after the firefight.
"The task force has taken control of the Mayuberi region. We will continue to search for and enforce the law against KKB members, which have been declared as terrorists, in Mimika, Puncak, Nduga and Intan Jaya, ” he said.
In addition, one walkie talkie device, three ID cards and Rp 14 million (US$978.65) in cash were also confiscated.
From a sweep of the location of the shootout, the authorities confiscated a number of KKB weapons, namely one Mauser type weapon, two Mauser weapon magazines and 17 rounds of ammunition. In addition, one walkie talkie device, three ID cards and Rp 14 million (US$978.65) in cash were also confiscated.
Iqbal also denied reports that security forces had shot dead three young women in the Ilaga Utara area, Puncak, Papua, on Saturday (15/5). He called the reports a hoax.
With the killing of two KKB members, the Nemangkawi task force has shot dead four members of the KKB led by Lekagak Telenggen in the last three days. One of them, Lekagak\'s right-hand man, Lesmin Waker, died during the shootout on Thursday (13/5). KKB Lekagak is believed to have been involved in a number of terrorist acts in Puncak in the last few years.
The head of the Papua Police, Insp. Gen. Mathius Fakhiri, said the law enforcement efforts to stop the KKB actions led by Lekagak Telenggen would be continued.
"We and the TNI have blockaded the Sugapa area, the capital of Intan Jaya, and two districts in Puncak, namely Beoga and Ilaga. We will stop their actions,” he said.
The head of the office of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) in Papua, Frits Ramandey, said that his side would continue to monitor the law enforcement efforts conducted by the National Police and the TNI, especially after the government labeled KKBs as terrorist groups. He hoped that law enforcement against KKBs would be limited and would not cause civilians to become victims. He also hoped that there would be a dialogue to end the conflict.
The same expectation also came from a researcher on Papua issues from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Cahyo Pamungkas.
"The security operation will not win the hearts of Papuans who are still traumatized by past violence,” he said.
“The government needs to offer a temporary cessation of hostilities for humanitarian purposes before taking a humanist and dialogical approach for peace in Papua.”
He also pointed out that security operations to eradicate the KKBs or the Free Papua Organization (OPM) had never been successful. During the 1985 conflict, for example, the operations caused civilian casualties but were still unable to eradicate the OPM. The OPM movement still exists to this day.
Cahyo said he was also worried that the increase in security operations searching for KKBs, both the members of KKBs and the security forces would become victims. This will not only extend the chain of violence in Papua but may also result in an increase in civilian casualties.
According Kompas records, in early April, members of KKBs shot dead two teachers in Puncak, Papua. The teachers were accused of being spies for security forces. Then in mid-September 2020, Pastor Yere mia Zanambani was shot dead in Hitadipa, Intan Jaya, Papua. The pastor\'s wife, Miriam Zoani, revealed that before the pastor died, he told her that he had been shot by a TNI member because he had been accused of giving food to OPM members.
Previously, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD also pointed out that law enforcement against KKBs should be carried out quickly, firmly and according to the law. Apart from that, the civilians should not become victims.