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Papua Liberation Army challenges President Jokowi

Kamis 05 Jul 2018 18:30 WIB

Rep: Fitriyan Zamzami, Puti Almas/ Red: Reiny Dwinanda

West Papuan National Liberation Army (TPNPB)

West Papuan National Liberation Army (TPNPB)

Foto: istimewa
Papua Liberation Army says recent attacks have nothing to do with election.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, NDUGA — The armed separatist group West Papuan National Liberation Army (TPNPB) said will continue to launch attacks in Nduga, Papua that so far have killed a number of civilians and security forces. They also declared ready to challenge Indonesia Government if there are additional troops that will be deployed.

“We hear that President Jokowi will deploy military in large numbers, so please do it. We are ready because we also have a lot of troops,” said TPNPB operation field commander, Egianus Kogeya in a statement released by TPNPB on Thursday (July 5).

Egianus said TPNPB is still crouched in Kenyam, Nduga capital. Nevertheless, their position was shifted related to the presence of a large number of Indonesian Military (TNI) and National Police forces in the city centre.

Also read: Police, military prioritize negotiation with Papua insurgent

He claimed TPNPB has launched a number of attacks in Nduga since last June 22. Before regional elections on June 27, the armed group also fired Trigana Air plane at Kenyam Airport, Nduga District on June 25.

At that time, the plane transported the electoral logistics and also 15 Mobile Brigade command (Brimob) personnels who were assigned to secure the election. In the incident, TPNPB also shot citizens near Kenyam Airport claiming three lives and one child injured.

On June 27, TPNPB also fired around Nduga Airport. However, the group did not directional shooting and there was no casualties in the incident.

Earlier, Inspector General Boy Rafli Amar, chief of the Papua Provincial Police revealed that a total of 30 police officers had been shot dead and 57 were injured by members of armed separatist criminal group over the last 10 years (2008-June 2018) in Indonesia's eastern most province of Papua. In addition to police officers, a total of 78 civilians were shot dead by separatists, and 117 others were wounded.

"The slain police officers include two Puncak Jaya policemen who were shot recently while guarding gubernatorial election in Torere sub-district recently," Rafli noted on Tuesday.

Most of the incidents happened in the mountainous areas, such as in Puncak Jaya, Puncak, and Mimika. Terrors by the separatist groups have become threats in Papua.

"We continue to handle the groups in accordance with the existing procedures," he remarked.

The police would never shoot the killers without following the standard of operation, he added.

On the same day, the armed group also attacked citizens and security forces in Torere district, Puncak Jaya regency. There were two National Police members and the district head shot dead.

The latest attack happened on July 3 and 4. The crossfire happened between TNI personnel and TPNPB members in Kenyam River. At the same location on the next day, the crossfire occurred again and involved National Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) personnel.

According to Egianus, all the attacks had nothing to do with regional election in Papua. He said the purpose of the group he leads solely to secede from Unitary Republic of Indonesia (NKRI).

“We don’t compromise if NKRI uses our people, even if they are our family. It is for the sake of Papua freedom,” Egianus said.

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