West Papuans beg for UN intervention as 2,650 Indonesian commandos hunt down freedom-fighters and the Jakarta government blocks emergency food water and medical supplies to highland villagers

Today another 650 Indonesian commandos joined the 2000-strong war machine transported to the Central Highlands in December 2018 after the Indonesian Parliament declared war on the West Papua National Liberation Army.

The government also escalated the impact of its December legislation by blocking all the emergency food water and medicines supplied by local churches and NGOs for the past three months to the Nduga, Kenyam, Yigi, Mbua, and Mapunduma districts.

The 650 extra commandos today, sent to ‘hunt and kill West Papuan freedom fighters’ and ‘eliminate the independence movement’, smashed the people’s homes and destroyed their gardens in 11 districts in Nduga regency. Particularly targeted were the houses and Jerusalem Church in Barapgin village, and the houses and churches in Opmo villlage distric Mbua, Nduga regency.

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) is begging for UN intervention. It wants the Indonesian people to understand that the West Papuans facing the Indonesian State’s security and police forces are not ‘armed, separatist, criminals’ (Kelompok Kriminal Separatis Bersenjata) as megaphoned incessantly through Jakarta television and social media.

The freedom-fighters facing the State’s war machine are the West Papuan National Liberation Army, which is duty-bound to defend their homeland against foreign incursions and the malignant colonial practices that have tormented the people for fifty-eight years. The people whose rights the fighters are defending are the poorest in West Papua, and in Indonesia.

The ULMWP believes that the intermittent battles since December, in which many more commandos than freedom-fighters have being killed, will escalate, and war will engulf the territory with an inestimable number of (Papuan and Non-Papuan) civilian refugees.

The ULMWP is calling on the United Nations to intervene and initiate talks between the Indonesian State and the ULMWP at UN Headquarters in New York so that tension can be resolved in accordance with UN principles and mechanisms.

In the meantime, the ULMWP is begging for a UN security team to protect civilians in the Nduga, Kenyam Yigi, Mbua and Mapunduma districts where the red and green beret commandos are causing frightful conditions including terrible shortages of food, water, medicines and shelter.

Jacob Rumbiak
Spokesperson, United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP)