Thousands of People in Papua are Isolated by Armed Group

Spokesperson for the Papua Police, Senior Commissioner Ahmad Mustofa Kamal, in Jayapura on Wednesday, February 22, 2017.

Thousands of two villagers in Tembagapura, PT Freeport Indonesia's mining area in Timika, Papua, were reportedly isolated by armed groups since a few days ago. Residents threatened not to leave their village.

The Papua Regional Police clarified a number of rumors circulating that thousands of people were held hostage, but were actually isolated or forbidden to leave their villages.

"Not hostage but isolation; residents are not allowed to leave their villages by hundreds of members of armed criminal groups," said Papuan Police spokesman, Senior Commissioner Ahmad Mustofa Kamal, on Thursday, November 9, 2017.

Two villagers who are not allowed to leave are Banti Village and Kimbely Village

"The Criminal Group continues to intimidate and threaten people," Kamal said.

According to police reports, there are approximately 300 migrants who previously worked as gold miners and traders in Kimbely Village. In Banti Village, adjacent to Kimbely Village, there are 1,000 indigenous Papuans who are also prohibited from traveling by the group.

The Integrated Task Force on Combating Armed Crimes Group, comprising a combined police and military of 200 personnel, continues to make persuasive and preventive measures so that people can be free from intimidation.

The condition of the people in both villages, Kamal said, was still in good condition. Papua Police assisted by the TNI seeks to paralyze the movement of the armed criminal group.

"In the framework of law enforcement and to create a situation of security and public order remains conducive so that community activities can run normally."


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