Indonesian Military Dismisses Papuan Rebel Leader’s Claim of Unified Army – West Papua No.1 News Portal
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Indonesian Military Dismisses Papuan Rebel Leader’s Claim of Unified Army

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Papuans take part in a parade in Surabaya, Indonesia commemorating the independence day of Papua from Dutch colonial rule, Dec. 1, 2018. -AFP

Papua, Jubi – A unity pact struck reportedly by separatist rebel factions in Papua province is an attempt to win public support, the Indonesian military said Friday, while it was still searching for a helicopter that vanished in the region a week earlier with 12 servicemen on board.

The head of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) announced this week that three rebel groups resisting Jakarta’s forces in the far eastern province had agreed on May 1 to come together and unify militarily under the banner of the West Papua Army.

ULMWP’s claims, however, were “a ploy to gain public sympathy,” said Muhammad Aidi, a spokesman in Papua for the Indonesian armed forces (TNI).

They’ve been saying that for a long time,” he told BenarNews. “For us, whether they are united or divided is not an issue.”

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He added a warning.

No sovereign country will tolerate separatism. Raising an army is a violation of the law. Not only will they have to face the TNI, but also the entire people of Indonesia,” Aidi said.

Maj. Gen. Sisriadi, TNI’s national spokesman, described the Papuan rebels as “criminals.”

The TNI will continue to assist the police in enforcing the laws in Papua, by looking for and arresting wanted armed criminals who have carried out criminal acts such as the destruction of property, the killing of civilians and other atrocities,” Sisriadi told BenarNews.

Several important people from the armed criminal groups in Papua have realized their mistakes and surrendered their weapons to the military and promised to work together with the people to develop Papua as an integral part of the Unitary State of Indonesia,” Sisriadi said, referring to rebels.

Search teams, meanwhile, have been out looking every day – weather permitting – but so far have uncovered no traces of the army helicopter that went missing during a flight in remote and densely forested Papua on June 28, Aidi said. Its jungle-clad terrain and limited road networks make air transport vital to the troubled region.

The Russian-made Mil Mi-17 lost contact with ground control a few minutes after lifting off from Oksibil, an administrative center in the mountainous Pegunungan Bintang regency, the military said.

Still nothing, we have not found any signs of it,” Aidi said, adding that there had been no radio contact with the crew and passengers since the helicopter disappeared.

There’s still a possibility that the helicopter made an emergency landing. We are still hopeful,” he said.

All 12 people on board were TNI personnel. There was one officer among them, a second lieutenant, according to Aidi.

The crew did not send out any distress signal and officials suspect that bad weather, which can develop rapidly, was a factor. The control tower reported the helicopter missing at an altitude of 7,800 feet (2,400 meters), five minutes after leaving Oksibil, according to the Associated Press.

It had stopped there to refuel while transporting troops and supplies to a border post near Indonesia’s frontier with Papua New Guinea, AP reported.

Unity is our strength’

Papua New Guinea is where the three rebel factions – the West Papua Revolutionary Army, the West Papuan National Army and the West Papua National Liberation Army – met in early May and agreed to join forces as a united army against Jakarta rule, according to Benny Wenda, the Britain-based leader of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.

This is important because it is the first time all the military factions have come together in the history of our struggle,” Wenda told BenarNews. “Unity is our strength. For the first time ever, we are politically unified under the ULMWP, and militarily unified under the West Papua Army.”

This development shows the world that we are ready for independence, ready to form a government free from Indonesian colonialism,” he added.

However, a faction of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) led by Jeffrey Bomanak and its armed wing, the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB), disputed Wenda’s claims about the unity pact.

The OPM-National Liberation Army is not part of ULMWP. OPM had existed even before there was ULMWP. We are soldiers, while UMWP is a civilian movement,” Bomanak told BenarNews on Friday.

Sebby Sambom, a spokesman for the West Papua National Liberation Army, said his faction was not involved in the congress in Papua New Guinea that led to the declaration of a unified West Papua Army. TPNPB commanders, such as Goliat Tabuni, Egianus Kogoya and Puron Wenda, did not attend that meeting, he said.

I heard that the extraordinary congress was held in Vanimo (PNG) in May. But we know nothing about it, so we reject all the outcome,” Sebby told BenarNews.

The Papuan armed separatist movement is often seen as being made up of fractious groups, whose fighters lack modern military equipment. Most of their weapons are traditional instruments such as spears, bows and arrows. The few firearms they possess usually are captured from government security forces.

Hipo Wangge, a researcher at the Marthinus Academy think-tank in Jakarta, cast doubts on Benny’s claim about the establishment of a unified rebel army.

The nature of the liberation [movement] has been fragmented since the 1960s,” Wangge said.

Increased military activity

Indonesian security forces have intensified operations in Papua after rebels killed 19 road construction workers and a soldier in Nduga regency in December last year.

Indigenous teenagers and boys who appear to be barely adolescent were involved in armed separatist groups in Papua, AP reported last month.

Wenda disputed the report and said the separatist movement was “committed to the full implementation of international law, unlike the illegal Indonesian occupation.”

Since December 2018, over 30 civilian children have been killed in brutal Indonesian bombing raids and ground operations,” Wenda alleged.

The military and police have denied that civilians were targeted in counter-insurgency operations. Human rights groups have accused Indonesian forces in Papua of committing serious abuses with near impunity.

In December, residents of Nduga were forced to flee to escape clashes between the insurgents and government security forces who were sent to capture those responsible in the killings of the workers who were building the Trans-Papua Highway.

The construction of bridges as part of the highway that stretches more than 4,300 km (2,687 miles) from Sorong, the largest city in West Papua province, to Merauke regency has since resumed following the deployment of more than 600 soldiers to secure the project. It is scheduled to be completed later this year.

Papua is one of the archipelago’s poorest regions despite its rich natural resources. It declared independence from Dutch colonial rule on Dec. 1, 1961, but that was rejected by the Netherlands and later by Indonesia.

In 1963, Indonesian forces invaded the region and annexed it, and six years later held a controversial referendum in which, according to rights groups, security forces selected slightly more than 1,000 people to agree to the region’s formal absorption into the archipelagic nation. (Benarnews.org)

 

Source: Benarnews.org

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A story of Ruth Dolly Pagawak, Papuan woman who recovered from Covid-19

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Ruth Dolly Pagawak. -Jubi/Hans

Manokwari, Jubi – Ruth Dolly Pagawak, twenty years old Papuan woman who declared negatives after two swab checks, could go home. She finally can meet her baby and the rest of her family on Saturday afternoon, 16 May 2020 after being quarantined at Papua Barat Provincial Hospital.

Along with Pagawak, other patients H. Abdullah Appe (62 years old) and La Marra (65 years old) were also declared has recovered from the Coronavirus. Papua Barat Governor Dominggus Mandacan officially take three of them out of the hospital.

While wearing a mask and holding her health certificate tightly, Pagawak told that her recovery is God’s blessing. “This is because of the grace of Lord Jesus that I was declared recovered of the Coronavirus,” said Pagawak holding a bucket of flowers by her doctors and nurses.

During her medical treatment at the hospital, Pagawak always listened to doctors and the medical team who treated her. She declared that listening to the government and medical staffs’ advice during the treatment is very important. By doing that, the body immune will stronger to combat the virus.

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“During my treatment, I routinely consumed vitamins and complied the doctors’ orders. I was also tried not being stressful because I believed that I would recover,” she said.

Since she was tested positive of Coronavirus in the mid of April, Pagawak has not experienced the most severe symptom. She claimed to only experience light symptoms such as cough and runny nose.

“I never experienced severe symptoms such as shortness of breath. I just had a cold and a mild cough.”

As the first Papuan woman who recovers from Coronavirus in Papua Barat, Pagawak advised people, in particular native Papuans, not to underestimate this virus. Still, they also do not need to overwhelm panic.

“The point is we must remain vigilant. Wear a mask, wash our hand routinely and get enough rest. We cannot avoid this virus because it is not visible. Therefore, we must follow all medical advice by the government, and never forget to pray and beg for mercy and recovery from God,” she said.

Pagawak told that she initially didn’t believe in her initial test confirming that she was Coronavirus positive because she was in the postpartum period. But with the support and permission of her husband, she finally agreed to take an initial medical treatment at Manokwari Hospital separately from her baby. She then continued to quarantine at Papua Barat Provincial Hospital since 1 May.

“I initially didn’t believe that I am Coronavirus positive. I just delivered my first child, who was six weeks at the time. So, when they took my baby and me from Warmare Subdistrict to Manokwari Hospital, we were treated separately,” she said.

This young mother also thanked the quarantine team of Papua Barat Provincial Hospital because of treating her and other patients sincerely and pouring them with encouragement and motivation.

“Personally, I thank the medical team, doctors and everybody who involved in Papua Barat Provincial Hospital. They are noble-hearted people because they treated us nicely. They are warm and always motivate us; therefore, we remain motivated to recover,” she said.

The information from the Covid-19 Task Force Papua Barat stated that Pagawak’s baby is currently undergoing treatment by a paediatrician at Manokwari Hospital. The baby, on the contrary, was declared negative since the initial examination and treated separately from the mother.
Meanwhile, Papua Barat Governor Dominggus Mandacan hopes that local community and neighbours of the recovered patients to accept them when they return to their family and neighbourhood.

“I hope people can accept them when they return to their family. Their recovery was also the hard work of the Papua Barat Provincial medical staff as well as our prayers,” said Mandacan at the Papua Barat Hospital on Saturday (16/5/2020). (*)

 

 

Reporter: Hans Kapisa

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Joyce Lin, a pilot of MAF crashed plane was also an IT specialist graduate from MIT

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Joyce Lin. – maf.org

Jayapura, Jubi – An aircraft operated by Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) was reportedly being crashed and drown in Lake Sentani on Tuesday (12/5/2020). Locals reported the incident after hearing an explosion. After two minutes take-off from Sentani Airport to Mamit, Tolikara Regency, the aircraft lost contact with the air traffic control tower.

Tolikara Regent Usman Wanimbo told Jubi that the crashed aircraft was possibly carrying books and stationeries for Yayasan Papua Harapan based in Mamit. President GIDI, the Rev. Dorman Wandikbo, also said the same thing.

“The aircraft was carrying school books and stationeries to Mamit,” said the Rev. Wandikbo by phone to Jubi. The pilot of the crashed plane later identified as Joyce Lin, a US citizen. Her body found at a depth of 13 meters in Lake Sentani.

Joyce, according to the Rev. Wandikbo, had just flown in Papua, although she had many experiences flying the small aircraft.

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The website maf.org acknowledges Joyce Lin as a pilot and IT specialist. As a pilot, she flew the aircraft to help people living in remote and isolated areas by providing medical evacuation service for saving a life. She also transported logistic supplies for community development, missionaries, teachers, and humanitarian workers to these remote locations. Meanwhile, as an IT specialist, Joyce work to set up and maintain the computer networks for missionaries and humanitarian workers to contact their communities and to access information on the Internet.

Joyce Lin grew up in Colorado and Maryland. She involved in a non-denomination local evangelist church service from a young age. At the age of eight, she showed her interest in everything linked with computers, mainly computer programming. Her interest in aviation also developed at an early age when her neighbouring pilot took her to the local air show.

She later took the computer science in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and received a Bachelor of Science and Masters of Engineering from the MIT. Because she had an interest in aviation, she also obtained a certificate of the private pilot while still in college.

After graduation, Joyce Lin worked as a computer specialist at a commercial company for ten years until obtaining a position of the Director of Engineering, while growing her enthusiasm towards seminary at the same time. She then registered as a student at the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and graduated with a Master of Divinity. While studying theology there, she learned about the missionary flying service. It surprised her when knowing that there is a job that can combine her interest in computers, aviation and Christianity service at once. From there, she found a strong call to work as a missionary pilot. She had instrument certification and commercial flying certificate and experience working as a flight instructor to meet the requirement as a pilot for MAF. (*)

 

Reporter: Victor Mambor

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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The body of crashed MAF aircraft found 13 meters below water

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Lake Sentani. -Ist

Jayapura, Jubi – Roberth Tunyanan from KNKT (the National Transportation Safety Committee) Papua said the body of a pilot killed in the crashed aircraft was found in Lake Sentani on Tuesday morning.

“I received the report stating the Rescue Team had found the body of MAF pilot flying the aircraft PK-MEC in Lake Sentani,” Tunyanan as quoted by Antara News Agency on Tuesday morning (12/5/2020).

The report also revealed that her body found at a depth of 13 meters trapped in the cockpit.

The website maf.org acknowledges Joyce Lin as a pilot and IT specialist. As a pilot, she flew the aircraft to help people living in remote and isolated areas by providing medical evacuation service for saving a life. She also transported logistic supplies for community development, missionaries, teachers, and humanitarian workers to these remote locations. Meanwhile, as an IT specialist, Joyce work to set up and maintain the computer networks for missionaries and humanitarian workers to contact their communities and to access information on the Internet.

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The aircraft controlled by Joyce Lin reportedly crashed around Lake Sentani that located between Jayapura Municipality and Jayapura Regency in Papua Province. The aeroplane took off at 6.27 a.m. local time and lost contact two minutes after take-off. (*)

 

Reporter: Victor Mambor

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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