Free West Papua : The TNI-OPM armed ties back in Papua, five soldiers were wounded

Man with guitar.
Five soldiers of the Sorong Kodim 1704 who were patrolling in Yambi District, Puncak Jaya District, Papua, were called wounded by a group of gunfire.
Kodam Cendrawasih accused the attackers of being affiliated with Lekagak Talenggeng, one of the leaders of the Free Papua Organization (OPM). The army failed to catch any of the perpetrators in the incident on Saturday (16/05).
The incident took place as police and military increased alertness with additional deployment of security apparatus ahead of the election simultaneously in seven districts and Papua's gubernatorial election on June 27.
The head of the Cenderawasih Military Command, Colonel Muhammad Aidi, said the shoot-out occurred in the hills between Kampung Sinak and Kampung Tirineri, about three kilometers from the settlement.
"We are on patrol using three Mitsubishi Strada double cabins, which is estimated to be over 10 people, close-in contacts of 10 to 20 meters," he said via telephone on Monday (18/06).
"We did not have time to chase after the soldiers only had a chance to shoot back while escaping," Aidi said.
According to Aidi, the attack was related to several acts of hostage taking in the Mimika district alleged to the OPM. Last November, the OPM was accused of holding hostage villagers Banti and Kimbely in Tembagapura, Mimika.
Lekagak Padaeng, Aidi said, also declared war on TNI and Polri through a letter signed by Hendrik Wanwang, head of West Papua National Liberation Army in October 2017.
"There's a motive equation, it's a series," Aidi said.
In a letter called Aidi, Wanmang said it attacked the security forces in retaliation for the 'arrest and torture of Papuans'.
"We are fighting with the police, the TNI and Freeport," Wanmang said in an interview with Reuters news agency November 2017.
Meanwhile, in March 2017, a number of mass media reported about 155 Lekagak subordinates descended from hiding in the mountains and declared pledge loyal to Indonesia.
However the TNI stated that firing was the last option for the military, who preferred a persuasive approach.
"We hope the perpetrators of the attack follow their friends who have returned to NKRI," said Aidi.
Still happening
The shooting incident at Puncak Jaya Regency last weekend was not the only violence this year.
According to Editor-in-Chief of Cendrawasih Pos-who also serves as Chairman of the Alliance of Independent Journalists Jayapura-Lucky Ireuw, a number of shootings called involving OPM and TNI apparatus did occur several times after the hostage-taking of two villages in Mimika at the end of 2017.
However, he added, the community is not affected by the series of violent events because the location is in the forest or mountains are relatively far from residential areas.
"People are used to it and they are not targets," he said, adding, "Even civilians understand OPM will not attack them."
Lucky explained that in recent months the presence of police and TNI officers is more often seen in public places ahead of the simultaneous elections in Papua on Wednesday 27 June.
"Conflict often arises during the elections in Papua, and in 2017 election in 11 districts ended up in the Constitutional Court except Dogiyai, 11 people died," Lucky added.
And the Election Supervisory Board in Jakarta has already stated that Papua is the most vulnerable area of conflict due to the election of regional head.
Meanwhile, according to Lucky's observation, even before the voting has seen the potential for conflict, especially the pilkada in the mountains, namely Paniai and Deiyai, because of the demonstration of the candidate pairs.
In addition to the election of the Papuan governor as well as in Paniai and Deiyai, five other districts and cities in Papua that will hold elections are Mimika, Puncak, Biak Numfor, Jayawijaya, and Membramo Tengah.
However, Kapendam Cendrawasih, Colonel Muhammad Aidi, asserted that the security forces would not overreact in Papua, "Papua security execution is the same as any other area, that is civil order, not military emergency."

Source : BBC

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