Jayapura, Jubi – The Indonesian Fellowship of Churches and Evangelical institutions (PGLII) has condemned the destruction and arson attack on an Islamic house of prayer (mushola) on Friday, along with kiosks and homes in Tolikara district, Papua.
“PGLII deplored the incident that hurt inter-religious harmony and the holiness of Idul Fitri celebrated by our brothers and sisters in Tolikara. We do not justify any kind of violence that would harm our brotherhood,” PGLII general chairman Ronny Mandang said at a press conference held in Jakarta on Saturday (17/7/2015 as reported by Antara News.
PGLII made the statement in its capacity as an institution that oversees the Evangelical Church in Indonesia (GIDI). This follows an attack on Muslims who were performing Eid prayers at the yard of the 1702/JWY Sub-District Military Command.
Apart from expressing regret, PGLII also extended its sympathy to the Muslims whose Eid prayers were disrupted.
“We also wish to express our sympathy to one GIDI member who died and 11 others who were wounded in the incident,” Ronny said.
PGLII considered the incident to be a local event that did not reflect national conditions.
In view of that, Ronny appealed to the authorities to settle the case through fair law enforcement.
“The government must also investigate the root cause of the incident,” he added.
At 7am on Friday a crowd believed to be GIDI members attacked a group of Muslims who were conducting Eid prayers in Karubaga, the capital of Tolikara district.
Meanwhile, The National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas HAM) found several facts in an incident that happened in Karubuga, Tolikara Regency, Papua, on Friday, July 17, 2015.
The commission revealed that the incident did not only involve the burning of a mosque by the Evangelical Church of Indonesia (GIDI) congregation but also a shooting incident done by the police.
Natalius Pigai, a Commissioner of Komnas HAM said that eleven people were injured and one primary school student, Edi Wanimbo (15 years old) was killed in the incident. Nine of peoples where injured are Altelu Yanengga, Edi Wanimbo? (died), Perinus Wanimbo, Geratus Kogoya, Ketilu Yikwa, Erdinus Yikwa, Alies Kogoya, Emison Pagawak and Yulianus Lambe.
According to Pigai, the victims were injured by the police’ shooting before a group believed to be GIDI members set fire on Baitul Mutaqin mosque.
“The police who tried to blockade the GIDI protestors directly shot at them. Later on, the congregation vented their anger to the mosque. In fact, they were angry to the police because the police shot at some of the residents,” Pigai said on Saturday (18/7/2015).
Responding to the news and information that being circulated in Social Media, President of the Evangelical Church in Indonesia (GIDI), Rev. Dorman Wandikmbo said is not true if GIDI’s members forbids the celebration of Eid Mubarak for Muslims in Tolikara. He also denied that GIDI’s members have set a plan to burn a mushola during the incident.
Rev. Wanimbo said, about three weeks before implementing the event, local church officials had issued a notification letter claimed to have been approved and recognized by the local government and local army and police.
“When the day came, we were surprised that the police and army allowed worship to carried out in the field and using loudspeakers. We have already conveyed (our plans) in the letter,” he said.
Therefore, GIDI’s members come to negotiate with muslims who are preparing to run the Eid prayer. Negotiations have not started yet, suddenly someone of GIDI’s members was shot.
“The unrest was initially caused by the police shooting indiscriminately at residents who asked Muslims practice Eid prayers without loudspeakers,” he said on Saturday (18/7/2015).
Unhappy with the drastic response, some people vented their anger by burning kiosks, which are located not far from the mosque.
“There was never any desire to burn the mosque. Some youths who annoyed anger lashed out to nearby stalls, to show resistance against the repressive attitude of the police. No one ever thought that the fire rapidly spread to the houses and mosque,” he added. (Victor Mambor)
Discrimination handling refugees hurts Papuans
Jayapura, Jubi – The way government handling the humanitarian conflict in Papua has become a spotlight. Many people think the government are being discriminative in handling Nduga refugees compared to refugees from Wamena.
A native Ndugama Resina Lokbere said that she is discouraged seeing how the government differently treated refugees from both areas. “I see a huge difference approach here. Although the government always declare our national motto ‘unity in diversity’, but I have not seen this applied in Papua. A conflict in Nduga has occurred since 1 December 2018. Since then, Nduga residents must leave their villages and flee to other regions and the jungle to avoid a military operation,” she said.
Moreover, she said if the government are a concern in settling the humanitarian conflict in Papua, they should treat people fairly. The government should treat people equally, regardless of indigenous Papuans or non-Papuans.
“Thousands of youth and children drop out of school, and now they are living under poor health condition. There is economic loses as well. Who knows whether they will be survived or dead after a few months of suffering without enough food and water? I don’t know. Only God is the witness of their suffering,” said Resina whose relatives refuge from Nduga.
In her view, the way the government handling the issue of refugees can create a barrier in society. She thinks the government has indirectly built a wall between one community to others.
“The government should not perceive conflicts in Nduga and Wamena merely from a political view but also a humanitarian aspect. They are all your people. They need you. They need your action, not your promises on the public stage,” she said.
Meanwhile, a local parliament member Laurenzus Kadepa also think the government has shown different response in handling refugees due to conflicts occurred in Nduga and Wamena.
According to him, he observed that the victims of conflict in Wamena were promptly evacuated or accommodated with adequate facilities. They had enough food and other basic needs during the evacuation. It was opposite to what had happened to Nduga residents. They had to walk for days from their villages to Wamena and other regions.
“While there was a lack of access to food aid distribution for Nduga residents, it didn’t happen for Wamena refugees. They had planes to transport them, shelter and enough food,” he said.
Seeing what has been happening lately in Papua, the relevant stakeholders in Papua and the central government should immediately think a solution to end this current complicated situation. (*)
Reporter: Agus Pabika
Editor: Pipit Maizier
Five bodies discovered in Mbua, allegedly shot by military culprits
Jayapura, Jubi – Residents and activists from Pegunungan Tengah Human Rights Defender Networks (JapHAM) discovered five bodies on Thursday (10/20/2019) in Iniye Village, Mbua Sub-district, Nduga Regency. The bodies are suspected of the shooting victims of military culprits and covered by grass and leaves before being buried in one hole.
Nduga youth leader Samuel Tabuni, who is also a relative of the victims, said the victims left Wamena on 20 September for picking food supplies by car. They went together with a group of young men. Some group members then separated for taking food to their villages. Meanwhile, the victims took their supplies to Gua Batu, Gunung Kanbobo because they lived far away and decided to stay in Iniye Village.
“The next day on 21 September, the five victims went to take the food they stored at Gua Batu. Another group followed them later, but while they were walking, they heard gunfire. They were scared and decided not to continue to their walk to Gua Batu. They walked back to Ineye and called me,” Samuel Tabuni told on Thursday (10/10/2019).
However, after the call, he wasn’t sure about what had happened in Ineye. So he asked the police for further investigation. But the police said there was no report of the shooting incident in Mbua.
“The victims are my relatives, so I must continue to find the truth. After twenty days, it finally reveals that allegedly military culprits have shotted these five people,” said Samuel Tabuni.
He said a resident who called him witnessed military personnel at around Gua Batu.
The five bodies later identified as Mrs Yuliana Dorggi (35), Mrs Jelince Bugi (25), Mrs Macen Kusumbrue (26), Tolop Bugi (13) and Hardius Bugi (15).
“Local people and JapHAM Pegunung Tengah led by Theo Hesegem discovered their bodies,” said Samuel Tabuni.
Meanwhile, Kodam (regional military command) XVII/Cenderawasih admitted to Jubi that they have not yet received any information regarding the shooting incident in Iniye Village.
“We have not received an official report from the local unit,” said Colonel Eko Daryanto, Kodam spokesperson, to Jubi via WhatsApp.
Since a military conflict occurred in Nduga in the early of December last year, 189 residents are reportedly dead because of starvation in a refugee camp or shot by the military and police. Following the incident, thousands of Nduga residents have fled, and 39 churches have vacated.
Currently, according to Samuel Tabuni, Nduga residents demand the government to withdraw the joint military and police troops from Nduga. Furthermore, Nduga urgently needs humanitarian aid to supply food, medicine and support from the international humanitarian organisation to conduct an independent investigation on human rights violations in Nduga.
Meanwhile, Papua Governor Lukas Enembe hope Nduga refugees are not treated differently with refugees from another conflict in Wamena.
“Nduga residents are also the Indonesian citizens who should be treated equally as other residents,” said Governor Enembe.
Further, he said the case of Nduga refugee is an extraordinary case related to a humanitarian issue.
Therefore, he said he already communicated with the regents of Jayawijaya and Lanny Jaya because most of Nduga refugees are currently staying in these two regencies. He asked the regents from both regencies to treat Nduga refugees well because they are also Papuan citizens who need the attention of the government. (*)
Reporter: Victor Mambor
Editor: Pipit Maizier
Conducive, school activities resume in Wamena
Wamena, Jubi – Following the unrest on 23 November 2019, most schools closed down their activities. Schools activities just resume on Monday, 7 October 2019 despite less attendance of teachers and students.
The Secretary of Jayawijaya Education Office Bambang Budiandoyo said at least ten schools which are directly impacted by the riots: four primary schools, three secondary schools and three high schools, have students’ participation of ten to twenty percent.
“At the first day of school, we focus more on recovering trauma among teachers and students, no learning activities yet,” he said on Monday (7/10) in Wamena.
The Jayawijaya Education Office remarks there are 25 of 61 schools of a range of degrees from pre to high schools reported the impact of riots toward their schools.
“The twenty-five schools already filed report on schools’ damages. Their reports have been forwarded to the regent via the Public Works Office (PUPR). They hope the government can immediately respond it for repairs,” said Bambang.
Now, in the sixth day after the riots, people can see many schools were damaged in different scales, from broken windows’ glasses to broken classrooms. In order to motivate teachers and students back to school, the regional education office calls Wahana Visi Indonesia (WVI) to assist them providing a trauma healing consultation.
“The Education Office also get an assistance from WVI to provide a trauma healing consultation for students and teachers for two weeks,” he said.
Meanwhile, the SMA Negeri 1 Wamena Principal Yosep Wibisono said after the incident both parents and students mostly decided leaving Wamena for a while. “So I am taking an initiative to clean our school with the help of the rest of teachers and students left. This is for reducing the unrest feeling when learning activities resume to normal.
There is no major damages occurred in SMA Negeri 1 Wamena. Only some windows’ glasses in the classroom, staff office hit by stones and broken as well as the school’s signpost and fence.
Separately, Efaim Yeuruan, the principal of SD YPPK Santo Yakobus Hone Lama, said the school has opened but only seven teachers and two of 490 pupils coming to school. “I have heard that students who are today absents because their parents are taking them to their hometowns after the riots,” he said.
Meanwhile, on the last 4 October 2019, the officials of the Jayawijaya Regional Government together with locals and police and military cleaned some debris from any exposed schools from Wouma to the areas of Wamena City including Hom-Hom.
Many locals and other community’s members participated to clean debris at SMP YPPK Santo Thomas. A classroom which burned down in the incident need more attention in addition cleaning the broken glasses.
Jayawijaya Regent appreciates teachers and students attending school
The Jayawijaya Regent Richard Banua expresses his appreciation to teachers and students attending the first day of school though it’s only a few.
“I hope these pupils can motivate others who might be now in a refuge. They can see that our schools start to operate,” said Banua.
He also hopes some absent teachers can resume teaching. To students and their parents, he said the government want everyone not feeling worried because it is now safe.
“Do not worry about the spreading rumours. But if you notice that schools are now open, let us sending our children to school as usual,” he said.
He also asks the security forces to maintain their performance in doing their job securing the situation. “I have talked to the local police chef asking him and his personnel to persistently maintain the security by doing patrol and deploying personnel at certain threat points,” he said.
Police name 13 suspects related to Wamena unrest
Jayawijaya Police name six other suspects to add the previous seven involving in a protest led to unrest in Wamena on 23 September 2019. Papua Police spokesperson Senior Commissionaire Ahmad Mustofa Kamal said the total number of suspects are currently 13. Ten of them are in the detention of Jayawijaya Police while three are still on the wanted list.
He told reporters the initial names of suspects are DM (19), RW (18), AO (16), RA (16), AK (19), DJ (32), YP (22), ES (27), MT (27), SK (40).
“YA, B and MA are still in the wanted list. There are students among the suspects. It assumes that they were only joining when destruction and burning had happened, while those in the wanted list allegedly provoked,” said Kamal in the press conference on Monday (7/10).
Moreover, he said these suspects are charged with Article 187 of the criminal code on combustion, Article 170 on destruction on people or goods collectively in public, and Article 160 on incitation to people to conduct crime.
“The police has kept the evidences related to the riots in Wamena, namely 34 stones allegedly used for destruction, 22 motorbikes and a car burned in the riots as well as a video footage of the incident,” he said.
Furthermore, Kamal said the number of suspects might be increased because the police are still continuing their investigation.
Meanwhile, the new appointed chief of Papua Police, the Inspector General Police Paulus Waterpau said there are two troops of Mobile Brigade deployed to help securing Wamena and now Papua Police plans to add another troop of Mobile Brigade to help the settled police and military troops in Wamena.
“I think the number of local troops in Wamena is enough. But we might add some more. This is also relevant to some other areas. Well, nothing, it’s just to look after and give understanding to the community,” said Waterpauw. (*)
Editor: Pipit Maizier
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