Adi Ahdiat, Jakarta – The Nduga Regency Humanitarian Team has again called on the government to withdraw Indonesian military (TNI) and police from Nduga regency in Papua because the military operations being conducted there are terrifying local people.
“This problem is an accumulation of all kinds of earlier issues. We hope that the TNI can withdraw its troops so that Nduga's people can return to their homes”, said the coordinator of the Kingmi Church in Jayawijaya regency, Esmon Walilo, who is part of the Nduga Regency Humanitarian Team.
“We found TNI personnel committing violence, schools and houses were torched. If they aren’t committing crimes, then why have the Nduga people had to flee from their homes”, said Walilo as reported by the state news agency Antara on August 14.
“We want Papua to be developed under a truly peaceful atmosphere, there’s no need for violence”, he continued.
During a press conference at the Amnesty International Indonesia offices in Jakarta on Wednesday August 14, the Nduga Regency Humanitarian Team again called in President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s promise to end the military operations in Nduga.
“When he visited Nduga, President Jokowi was bewildered as to why the situation in Nduga was so tense. The president also promised to withdraw the troops, but to this day it has not been done”, said Walilo as quoted by Antara.
The group also called on the government to open access to journalists and provide security guarantees for human rights investigation teams and humanitarian workers, both national as well as international, so they can enter Nduga regency.
According to a report by the Nduga Regency Humanitarian Team, between December 2018 and July 2019 thousands of Nduga residents have fled the area and 184 people have died.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Warga Papua: Ada Aparat TNI Bakar Sekolah dan Rumah”.]