Tag Archives: Free Papua Movement

Nicolaas Jouwe: Netherlands Created OPM To Oppose Indonesia

Nicolaas Jouwe

Nicolaas Jouwe

A Papuan community leader, Nicolaas Jouwe, said the Netherlands officers created the Free Papua Movement (OPM) in 1965, to oppose Indonesia and disturb the security of eastern Indonesias territory.

“I am a leader of the National Liberation Council of West Papua. I am not OPMs member. In fact, OPM was created by Netherlands officers in 1965 to coincide with the crackdown on the Indonesian Communist Party,” Jouwe said on Monday (12/5) in Jakarta.

In the lunch that was held for a journalist of Australian TV SBS, Mark Davis, Jouwe said the Netherlands officers trained the Papuan youths to become volunteers in fighting Indonesia.

“The Papuan youth who had been trained were then asked by the Netherlands to establish the OPM,” Jouwe noted.

Jouwe, born in Jayapura on November 24, 1923 and who had designed the Bintang Kejora (Morning Star) Flag, also explained conditions in Papua after more than 50 years of integration with the Unitary State of Indonesia, since the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) handed over the governance of West Papua (used to be called Irian Jaya) to Indonesia on May 1, 1963.

Jouwe underlined that the Papuan peoples state of minds cannot be separated from the Netherlands treatment, who had isolated and banned them from attending schools since the Orange Kingdom colonized the land in 1828 until independence was proclaimed by Soekarno and Hatta on August 17, 1945.

“During the 117 years, we the people of Papua practically lived in the Stone Age,” he said.

The obsession of Jouwe with the struggle for Papuas development was captured in a book titled “Nicolaas Jouwe Back to Indonesia: Step, Thought and Desire” that will be published in 2014.

On Jouwes book, the figure who used to oppose Indonesia, said he had come back to the Unitary State of Indonesia marked by his visit to Jayapura, Papua, in 2009, to support Papuas development, after tens of years of living in the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, during his stay in Indonesia, Mark Davis will organize an investigative report in Jayapura between May 6 and May 11, 2014.

Source: ANTARA News

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Separatist snipers kill soldier in Indonesia’s Papua

Separatist snipers hiding out in the mountains of Indonesia’s Papua have shot dead a soldier, police said on Monday, the latest attack on security forces in the restive eastern region.

The gunmen opened fire on soldiers guarding roads around Tingginambut village in West Papua province on Saturday as trucks delivered food and other essential supplies, local police spokesman I Gede Sumerta Jaya said.

“The snipers started shooting at the soldiers from the mountains. A soldier was shot in the stomach and died in hospital,” he said, adding that no one else was injured in the attack.

The attackers were linked to a local leader of the separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM) because “the modus operandi is similar to previous attacks”, Jaya said.

Source: Strait Times

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Govt to embrace separatists

Governor of Papua Province Lukas Enembe

Governor of Papua Province Lukas Enembe

Papua Governor Lukas Enembe has pledged to embrace Free Papua Movement (OPM) separatists, expressing his will to build a bridge between the group and the government by involving them in the provincial development.

Enembe said that he would continue to hold discussions with OPM members to find out their demands.

“I have yet to meet them in person, but I keep in contact with the group. They are our brothers,” Enembe said, adding that they wanted to be listened to and understood.

“If some of the members want to go to school, we will send them to school. If they want to run a business, we can provide training and loans so they can start their business,” he continued.

Enembe said that the Papua Liberation Army Front (TPN)/OPM leader Goliat Tabuni had given him a call and asked him to develop Tabuni’s village.

Good communication between the parties, Enembe said, would build mutual understanding and therefore it would be easier for the separatists to accept the government’s development programs.

Enembe called on all regents in the province to take a peaceful approach by holding dialogue with the separatists. He also urged the central government to disburse more funds for the province’s development since Papua could not rely only on the provincial budget.

Papua has an annual budget of more than Rp 40 trillion (US$4.16 billion), the seventh-largest budget in the country.

The Jaringan Damai Papua (JDP/Papua Peace Network), led by Catholic priest Neles Tebay who won the 2013 Tji Haksoon Justice and Peace award, is currently struggling to make such Jakarta-Papua dialogue happen. The globally-recognized Papua Peace Network has organized several rounds of negotiations between the separatists and the government.

Source: The Jakarta Post

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Indonesia: Signs of new thinking on Papua

By Gary Hogan — The 21 February slaying of eight soldiers in two separate incidents by anti-government rebels in Indonesia’s troubled Papua province sent shock waves through Jakarta’s presidential palace, as well as the country’s national defence headquarters in nearby Cilangkap.

Soldiers killed in Papua

Soldiers killed in Papua

It was the largest number of military security forces killed in a single day in the restive province, which borders Papua New Guinea.

The shock was felt as far away as Canberra, since Jakarta’s adroit handling of its separatist problem in Papua is crucial to our ability to progress bilateral relations with Indonesia.

Australia’s ambassador in Jakarta was the first foreign official to extend condolences and to reaffirm Australia’s unequivocal commitment to Indonesian sovereignty over Papua. Canberra knows it would be impossible to engage Jakarta in a comprehensive strategic partnership without a mature and unfettered relationship with Indonesia’s powerful defence forces, Tentara Nasional Indonesia or TNI.

Any undisciplined retaliatory conduct by TNI elements in Papua, such as random reprisals for the eight deaths, would weigh heavily on the current upward trajectory in both our defence and broader bilateral relations. Fortunately, there is cause for optimism that, at least at the top, TNI might adopt some fresh thinking about Papua and the international ramifications of an ongoing cycle of violence.

Nobody is more aware of the potential for an arbitrary, heavy-handed overreaction by security forces in Papua to tarnish Indonesia’s international image than President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. He has done a great deal in the past eight years as president to try to improve Indonesia’s global standing on human rights, investing in security sector reform and attempting to consolidate democracy and economic prosperity.

In Papua, Yudhoyono has promised a new approach based on building a stronger, fairer and more inclusive economy. His key man on the ground is retired general Bambang Darmono, a respected and experienced soldier and diplomat who played an important role in the successful Aceh peace process.

But Darmono, who the president has charged with overseeing a fast-track development plan for Papua, faces an uphill battle. Indonesia lacks a clear strategy for pacifying Papua, partly because Jakarta focuses on economics when many Papuans cry for political dialogue.

Moreover, the search for a solution is frustrated by poor coordination and an absence of imagination among government departments, factionalism and corruption in Papua itself, where vested interest is fueled by the prospect of limitless resource wealth, and a reactionary streak in some Jakarta elites, who refuse to even countenance the term ‘indigenous’ because it implies special rights.

Fallout from the 21 February shootings is still on the cards. The Free Papua Movement (OPM) is proving itself a learning organisation. Recent rebel actions demonstrate an ability to conduct reconnaissance, detect patterns, use intelligence effectively in planning and exploit poor operational security. The OPM now appears capable of moving beyond its basic hit and run tactics of the past. Incidents like the two which killed eight Indonesian soldiers last month could continue and even escalate.

In dealing with the Papua problem, Indonesia has occasionally demonstrated a disconnection between operational directions from Jakarta and tactical actions in the field. This will need to improve under TNI’s emerging leaders, and there are promising signs it might.

Gary Hogan was the first foreigner to graduate from Indonesia’s Institute of National Governance (Lemhannas) and was Australia’s Defence Attaché to Indonesia from 2009 to 2012.

Source: The Interpreter

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Indonesia monitors foreign links to West Papua rebels

INDONESIAN security services have suspicions but no firm proof that individual foreigners had linked with Papuan armed separatist groups.

“There are some suspicious that several foreign nationals personally maybe have links with those groups,” Lieutenant Colonel Jansen Simanjuntak told The Australian.

Lt-Colonel Jansen, spokesman for the Cenderawasih Military Command which oversees Indonesia’s two Papua provinces, was responding to the arrest and charging of an Australian man this week suspected of trying to join the separatist fight.

Prosecutors told Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday (05/12) that 45-year-old Gerard Michael Little was about to travel to West Papua to engage in “violent conflict against the Indonesian government” when he was arrested.

Little allegedly identified himself on a Facebook page as “Colonel G. Micheal Little, commanding officer OPM”, the Free Papua Movement.

The case is likely to prove long-held suspicions in TNI and BIN, the national security agency, that foreigners including NGOs and even missionaries, are fomenting unrest in the Papua provinces.

“Foreign individuals help to link separatist groups with foreign parties which can give moral support or material support,” said Lt-Colonel Jansen.

OPM has an armed wing engaged in sporadic clashes with Indonesian forces, usually the police.

Most recently, an OPM group in Lanny Jaya district, Papua, claimed responsibility for a November 27 attack on a police post that killed three officers.

Source: The Australian

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Police Name Nine Suspects In Alleged Papua Bomb Plot

Nine members of the separatist movement West Papua National Committee (KNPB) were charged with possession of explosive devices after Jayawijaya Police allegedly found bombmaking materials in KNPB offices on Saturday (29/09).

The nine suspects were all charged under the 1951 Law on Explosive Ownership, Papua Police spokesman Adj. Sr. Comr. Gede Sumerta told the press. They have been identified as JW, ED, JJM, BYW, SK, SH, YD, RK and NK.

Pilemon Elosak, a man who was detained by police after officers reportedly found the first batch of explosives in his house, was not among the list of those charged. Pilemon reportedly told police that Lani Hubi and Michel Waitipo gave him 0.5 kilograms of dynamite, a detonator and an undisclosed amount of aluminum in order to bomb multiple police, government and military offices across Wamena, police said.

Both Lani Hubi and Michel Waitipo were absent from the list of suspects.

Police then searched KNPB numerous offices in Wamena and allegedly uncovered two more bombs, three bows, one airgun, eight machetes, two axes, a compact disc on Papuan independence and a Morning Star flag, police said.

“They’re planning to blow up [the] military headquarters and police office,” National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said on Monday (01/10).

According to police reports, the men were reportedly behind the Sept. 18 bombing of a police post and an attack on a government office in Wamena.

The Papua branch of the Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy (Elsham) doubted the veracity of the police report, claiming that the evidence must have been fabricated by police.

The KNPB has historically been seen as a peaceful separatist organization.

A separatist group, the Free Papua Movement (OPM) has waged a low-scale insurgency against Indonesian security forces from their remote outpost for decades. Much of that fighting has been centered near Freeport Indonesia’s mining activities in Timika.

Papua Police is now being lead by a new chief who has vowed to take a grassroots approach to policing the restive province.

“This is a matter of hearts that we have to touch,” Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian said.

Tito was the former head of Densus 88 from 2004 to 2011. He was briefly appointed as deputy chief of the recently formed National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) before taking over the Papua Police.

Source: The Jakarta Globe

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Indonesia warns OPM over Papua violence

Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto has warned the Free Papua Organization (OPM) which is the perpetrators of the recent shooting in Papua, in which four people were killed, that the government would take all measures needed to chase and arrest them, local media reported Friday.

The minister said that the government’s heavy-handed response to the recent shootings in the easternmost of Indonesia should not be misconstrued as a human rights violation as it was a risk that had to be taken in locating the perpetrators.

“We will take all necessary action to track them down, so don’t blame us for any human rights violations, because they are the human rights violators who terrorize members of the security forces and the people of the land,” said Djoko.

Four people, including police officer Brig. Yohan Kisiwaitoi, and head of the Forestry Department of Sarmi regency, Ayub Natanubun, were killed during recent attacks by unidentified perpetrators in Papua.

State Intelligence Agency chief Marciano Norman suspected that the violence in Papua likely related to groups that had received funds from foreign companies operating in Papua.

“We are still investigating this possibility. It is important for all foreign companies operating in Papua to communicate with us in regard to making donations, so that the money is not misused, for instance, to fund separatist movements,” Marciano said.

A low-level insurgent of separatist Free Papua Movement has frequently targeted soldiers, policemen, civilians and workers at the U.S. giant Freeport McMorant subsidiary in Papua, killing dozens of people and injuring some others.

Source: Xinhua

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