Jakarta – The Free Papua Organisation (OPM) has spoken out in response to the Indonesian government's move to pin the terrorist label on armed groups in Papua – which officials usually refers to as armed criminal groups (KKB).
Earlier, Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Mahfud MD declared that the designation of the terrorist status for armed groups in Papua was because they have become increasingly brutal in their attacks and violence. Mahfud even said that this has resulted in civilian victims.
Given this situation, said Mahfud, the movement has been categorised as terrorists in accordance with the stipulations of Law number 5/2018 on the Eradication of Terrorism.
In response to this, the OPM has countered by stating that it is in fact the Indonesian military forces that have been attacking civilians.
"Unlike the Indonesian military, no matter what, TPNPB (West Papua National Liberation Army) freedom fighters have never attacked the Indonesian civilian population", wrote OPM regional diplomatic representative Akouboo Amatus Douw in a statement on Sunday May 2.
If the Indonesian government is determined to pursue this program then he threatened that TPNPB troops will not hesitate to conduct similar attacks against civilians.
"If Indonesia pursues a program of terror and genocide against the West Papuan civilian population (as has been happening for almost 60 years) and the international community does not intervene", said Douw.
"The TPNPB/OPM freedom fighters will announce a campaign to kill not only the Indonesian military which is occupying (Papua) illegally, but also Javanese and other illegal Indonesian residents who are increasingly stealing the holy land and resources of the West Papuan people", he continued.
Douw suspects that humanitarian crimes committed by the Indonesian military such as the bombing civilian populations in the West Papuan highlands is because of the Indonesian military's ineptitude and fear of confronting the TPNPB.
In the statement Douw said that Indonesia's alleged program of genocide against the Papuan people has been cited in a number of reports by legal scholars, academics, international human rights organisations and the United Nations.
Because of this he slammed the UN's move to return West Papua to Indonesia in 1963. According to Douw, this was a violation of international law as regulated under the UN charter with Indonesia, the United States, Australian and other countries.
Douw also believes that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was also responsible for the rise of the pro-US Suharto dictatorship in Indonesia and the illegal transfer of West Papua in the interests of exploiting gold in West Papua through the then US company PT Freeport.
Based on all of this, he declared that the OPM is inviting Indonesia to ratify agreements which regulate the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The OPM is also proposing that the crimes against humanity and genocide in West Papua as well as allegations that the OPM has committed acts of terrorism be decided through the ICC.
Then, he added, the OPM is also inviting Indonesia to ask the ICC to decide whether or not Indonesia's occupation of Papua is legal or not.
"The OPM also invites Indonesia to provide access for the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, foreign diplomats and journalists to [visit] West Papua as promised by President (Joko) Widodo in 2015, but have failed [to be fulfilled] to this day", continued Douw.
Douw said that the OPM is gathering support for military intervention by UN peacekeeping troops and is asking for moral and material support from the European Union, African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and all UN members states who advocated UN General Assembly Resolution 2625 (XXV) on a Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-Operation.
"An action program to fully implement the Declaration of Granting of Independence for Colonial Countries and Peoples".
On Friday April 29, Security Minister Mahfud announced that the government has officially included armed criminal groups in Papua as terrorist organisation based on the anti-terrorism law.
"What is being done by the KKBs and all of the organisations and people affiliated with them are acts of terrorism", said Mahfud.
A day before Mahfud announced the decision, Joint Regional Defense Command spokesperson Colonel Czi IGN Suriastawa stated that it is appropriate to destroy the OPM and armed groups in Papua. The statement was made after the fatal shooting of Papua Regional Intelligence Agency Chief Brigadier General I Gusti Putu Danny Karya Nugraha by TPNPB fighters.
"Root them out completely, exterminate them down to the roots", said Suriastawa when speaking to CNN Indonesia on Wednesday April 29.
If the OPM do not want to be exterminated by the Indonesian military, then Suriastawa appealed to members of the organisation to surrender. (fey/nma)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "OPM Buka Suara soal KKB Dilabeli Teroris".]