TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The TNI-Polri (Indonesian Military-National Police) joint personnel were accused of holding hostage to an entourage of Nduga regional administration, Papua, in Yigi district. The accusation was stated by a spokesman for the National Liberation Army of West Papua/Free Papua Movement (TPNPB/OPM) Sebby Sambom.
“The number may be dozens, because the team entourage that is being held hostage,” Sebby said via text message, Tuesday, January 1. In the entourage, he said, there were Chairmen I and II of the Nduga Regency Representatives Council.
Sebby, who lives in Papua New Guinea, said on December 28, the team entourage traveled from Wamena at around 10:30 local time to Yigi. While in Mbua, the entourage was taken hostage by the TNI-Polri who were guarding the area.
Dozens of people were held hostage, Sebby said, because they did not have a permit.
“And until today, they are still being held hostage there,” he said. The entourage planned to gather Yigi, Nitkuri, and Mugi residents who had fled to the forest after the war with the TNI-Polri.
The accusation of hostage taking was denied by the National Police.
“That is only part of their propaganda to gain sympathy,” said the head of the Public Information Bureau at the National Police’s Public Relations Division Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo via text message, Wednesday, January 2.
Dedi said that the presence of the TNI-Polri actually protected the community in Nduga from the threat of an armed group. This was done after an armed group attacked the workers at the Trans Papua project in December. In the attack, dozens of workers died.