TNI Denies Shooting Civilian in Nduga, Papua

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  • TNI troops patrol the border-free zone around Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, Marauke, Papua on monday (28/10). ANTARA/Zabur Karuru

    TNI troops patrol the border-free zone around Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, Marauke, Papua on monday (28/10). ANTARA/Zabur Karuru

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Papua Military Command Area chief Col. Inf. Muhamad Aidi has denied the rumor that the National Armed Forces (TNI) has combed and shot civilians in Mugi District, Nduga Regency, Papua. “The reports are not true whatsoever,” he told Tempo today.

    Aidi said that members of the Coalition for Justice, Law and Human Rights of Papua’s Pegunungan Tengah had not launched any investigation to confirm the news about the shooting.

    Aidi added that the Coalition needs to conduct an investigation before issuing a report.

    Earlier, the Coalition for Justice, Law and Human Rights of Papua’s Pegunungan Tengah reported cases of violence in Mugi District, Nduga Regency, Papua, by the military and police.

    Aidi suspects that the report was received from the Free Papua Movement (OPM) to spark unrest. He said that Nduga residents were intimidated by OPM to leave the village, preventing the TNI from seeking information from them on OPM hideouts. “We came there using a commercial airplane and we were shot at,” Aidi said.

    Aidi also denied the alleged joint operations with police to comb the region. Mugi District is a mountainous region that is difficult to reach. “There are no cops there, only the TNI,” he said.

    A press statement issued by the Coalition for Justice, Law and Human Rights of Papua’s Pegunungan Tengah, Civil Liberty Defenders and the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS) says that the tension in Nduga, Papua, started after an attack launched by the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-PB) against TNI personnel on December 12.

    The incident killed excavator operator Yovicko Sondak and left military personnel Second Private Didimus Abindodifu wounded. Following the incident, joint security forces combed Daragma Airport in Mugi District, Nduga Regency. But the TNI has denied the combing.

    CHITRA PARAMAESTI