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Thursday, 27 October 2011

Officials Deny Papua Alert Status

The Jakarta Post
Thursday, October 27, 2011

Arya Dipa and Yuli Tri Suwarni, The Jakarta Post, Bandung

The Free Papua Movement (OPM) denied that the organization was behind the killing of Mulia Police chief Adj. Comr. Dominggus Oktavianus Awes.

OPM international spokesman John Otto Ondawame said Dominggus was one of “those who must take responsibility for the series of crimes against humanity in Puncak Jaya”.

In his email sent to The Jakarta Post on Wednesday, the Vanuatu-based Ondawame accused the police and military of having been behind “increased human rights abuses, barbaric killings, tortures, intimidation and rapes against innocent civilians in the area”.

He also said the deployment of more troops to Papua would “create devastating effects on civilian lives”.

“Such a deployment will never destroy the true aspiration of the people of West Papua. Rather it will encourage their sentiment against Jakarta,” he said, adding that the leaders of the people of West Papua had always called on the Indonesian government to withdraw security
forces from the region.

“We strongly believe that through peace talks we can find the best solution to the long- standing issue of West Papua. Is Jakarta ready to enter into new round-table peace talks?”

The situation in Papua has been tense for the past two weeks following a series of shootings that have claimed the lives of eight people, including Dominggus.

However, the government has revised a previous statement on the security status of Papua, saying there was no plan to send further Indonesian Military (TNI) and police troops to the troubled province despite rising tensions.

Defense Minister Purnomo Yusginatoro denied a previous statement made by National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Anton Bachrul Alam that the status of Puncak Jaya had been elevated to “Alert 1”.

“The disorder only took place in Puncak Jaya. The third Papuan People’s Congress was held in Abepura. It is still within the police’s jurisdiction,” Purnomo told reporters in Bandung on Wednesday when accompanying President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on his visit to PT Dirgantara Indonesia.

“Currently, none of our troops are from outside Papua. The situation is being handled by troops from the local garrison. There has been no reinforcement of combat troops in Papua,” said Purnomo.

Anton said on Tuesday that more than 170 officers of the police Mobile Brigade had been deployed to Papua while Papua Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Wachyono said 280 mobile brigade officers would be sent from Jakarta over the next few days.

Papua interim governor Syamsul Arief Rivai urged the congregation of Gereja Kristen Injili (GKI) to turn Papua into a peaceful paradise.

“Let’s turn Papua into a little heaven, like the lyrics of the song; a piece of heaven on Earth,” he said at the opening of the Papua GKI synod congress in Sentani, Jayapura.

Papua GKI synod leader Rev. Yemima Krey Mirino called on the government to sit down with the Papuan people to discuss the current problems.

“The government must be willing to hear what is happening and then work together to seek a solution, so people can live in peace,” he said.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono emphasized the government’s stance on defending the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. “We love peace but we must defend the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia at all costs.”

Nethy D. Somba and Bagus BT Saragih contributed to this story.

Posted via email from West Papua Merdeka News

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