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  • Writer's pictureMerdeka Secretariat

Nduga Attacks: Violating Civil and Political Rights, Threatening the Lorentz National Park Ecosystem

Updated: Aug 24, 2019

Since the shooting incident which took place in Nduga Regency in early

December 2018, joint police and military forces have been carrying out a

'military operation' with the stated aim of evacuating victims and searching for

the TPNPB (West Papua National Liberation Army), who have been accused of

carrying out the shooting.

Nduga is not a safe place at the moment. As the joint forces carry out their

operation, a fear of the sort of violence known from previous experiences in

Mapenduma, Yigi and Mbua has emerged. So far, civilians from 34 churches from

the Mbua, Mbulmu Yalma, East Yigi, West Yigi and Mugi Classises (a Classis is an

administrative divisions of the Protestant Church) have reported being forced to

leave their villages and go to take refuge in nearby forests to avoid being caught

up in brutal shootings, violence, intimidation and so on. These refugees are

pushed to the limit, living in fear, and under threat of starvation because of the

high probability they will not find sufficient food and will experience health


We are worried about these refugees' safety and security. There have been

reports that three civillians have died in Mbua and Dal: one middle school

student, one high school student from the Emmanuel church and another young

person, as well as one more victim in the Mbulmu Yalma area. Nearby where the

victims were found in Mbua sub-districts, local people discovered hand-grenades

and grenades from grenade launchers made by Indonesian state-owned

armaments firm PT Pindad, so people suppose the victims died because of

weapons used by the joint security operation.

The forest in the Nduga area is part of the Lorentz National Park which is home

to around 1200 species of plants, 118 mammals, 66 amphibians, 403 birds, 51

butterflies and various micro-organisms. Because of the importance of this

biodiversity, Lorentz National Park has been made a World Heritage Site by

UNESCO's World Heritage Committee. We fear that a widespread military

operation in this forested area will also damage or disturb this ecosystem, as

well as eliminating the local communities' living space and the areas they


Military operations and all forms of violence occurring in Nduga are adding to

the terrible record of violations of indigenous Papuans' human rights. This

clearly runs contrary to the 1999 Human Rights Law and the 1948 Declaration

on Human Rights which establish regulations ensuring the right to life, the right

to justice, the right to individual freedom, the right to feel safe and the right to

security, as well as the right to a good and healthy environment.

Papua's long journey which led to the birth of Papuan Special Autonomy has also

still not answered indigenous Papuans' hopes of a decent life, despite the

considerable sums of money which have been sent to Papua, but which never

seem to be enough. Special Autonomy still does not give a space for indigenous

Papuans' self-determination and self-determined development. Today,

indigenous Papuans are mere spectators on their own land, they still suffer from

hunger in their own homes, despite the abundance of natural riches and

resources found in the Land of Papua. In the end, Special Autonomy is only a

sweet-sounding phrase which can be the banner heading over a long story of

suffering, impoverishment and never-ending human rights violations.

Based on this background, we as the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations for

Justice, Human Rights and the Environment in the Land of Papua, wish to express

our sincere solidarity and condolences to the civilian victims and survivors who

have taken refuge or who are in temporary accommodation.

1. We express our strong criticism of shootings and other acts of violence in

which civilians have become victims, or have been targeted and subjected to

violence in Nduga.

2. We ask the President as Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces to stop this

Military Operation which has resulted in civilian victims and caused the people

of Nduga to flee from their own lands, and also has the potential to cause the

destruction of the environment, forests and the areas indigenous Papuans

depend on for their livelihood, especially those who live in Nduga Regency.

3. We support the statement of the Governor of Papua Province and the

Provincial Legislative Council, who have asked the Indonesian Government to

withdraw all military and police personnel who are currently on security duties

in Nduga Regency. We also support the Governor's statement that he will form

an independent team, made up of local government, the Papuan Provincial

Legislative Council, the Papuan People's Assembly, religious and community

leaders, NGOs, the National Human Rights Commission and other related parties,

which will take on the role of investigating violent events in Nduga and finding

out what really happened.

4. We support all efforts to enforce the law based on justice and responsibility

which protect, restore and guarantee the safety of civilians and witnesses in the

Nduga case.

5. We urge the National Human Rights Commission to form and investigative

team, involving church organisations and CSOs in Papua to carry out verification

and discover the facts behind the violence which has occurred in Nduga, in a just,

responsible and transparent way.


Jayapura, 24 Desember 2018

Contact Person: Aiesh Rumbekwan: 0813 4452 4394

Koalisi Organisasi Masyarakat Sipil Pro Keadilan, HAM dan Lingkungan di

Tanah Papua:

1. WALHI ED Papua,

2. Yayasan PUSAKA,

3. YALI Papua,

4. Pt. PPMA,

5. LBH Papua,

6. YPMD Papua,

7. TIKI Papua,



10. YALHIMO Manokwari,

11. LP3BH Manolwari,


13. LMA Swamemo Nabire,

14. Elsham Papua,



17. YBAW Wamena,

18. Dewan Kepala-Kepala Suku Jove’mamba,

19. iWaTaLi Papua,

20. Papuan Voices,

21. SKPKC Fransiskan Papua,

22. KPKC GKI di Tanah Papua,

23. Perkumpulan Belantara Papua,

24. Komunitas Transparansi Pangguna Anggaran Papua Baru (KOTRAPENGARU),

25. Yalhimo,

26. GSBI Papua Barat,

27. Perkumpulan Bin Mdag Hom Bintuni,

28. Yay. Konsultasi Independen Pemberdayaan Rakyat (KIPRa) Papua,

29. JERAT Papua,

30. Filep Karma, Pembela HAM,

31. Dr. I Ngurah Suryawan, Akademisi Unipa,

32. Asep Komaruddin, aktifis,

33. SOS untuk Tanah Papua,

34. Dewan Masyarakat Adat Momuna Kab. Yahukimo,

35. Koalisi Peduli HAM dan Lingkungan Hidup (KAPHLING) Papua,

36. Walhi Eksekutif Nasional, Jakarta,

37. Walhi Kalimantan Tengah,

38. Walhi Sulawesi Utara,

39. Walhi Sulawesi Selatan,

40. Walhi Sulawesi Tengah,

41. Walhi Bali,

42. Walhi Aceh,

43. Walhi Jawa Timur,

44. Walhi Bengkulu,

45. Walhi Jambi,

46. Walhi Kalteng,

47. Dr. Cahyo Pamungkas, S.E, M.Si, peneliti LIPI,

48. AJAR (Asia Justice and Rights), 49. Protection International.

Refugees in Nduga © West Papua Daily


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