KNPB denies police claim of involvement in fatal attack on Papua military post

Suara Papua – September 5, 2021
West Papua National Committee (KNPB) members in Maybrat – Undated (Istimewa)

Reiner Brabar, Sorong – The Maybrat branch of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) has denied involvement in a September 2 attack on a sub-district military post (Posramil) in Kisor, South Aifat district, Maybrat regency, West Papua Province.

They say that the two people arrested by the South Sorong district people are not KNPB members.

This was conveyed by KNPB Maybrat Chairperson Yohanes Asem in response to and at the same time a denial of a statement by South Sorong district police chief (Kapolres) Assistant Superintendent Choiruddin Wachid who accused the KNPB of being the actors behind the attack which left four soldiers dead and two others seriously wounded.

"The South Sorong Kapolres is mistaken in accusing the KNPB of being the actors behind the attack on the Kisor Posramil. The KNPB Maybrat is not the perpetrator, it was never involved in this attack", said Asem by phone from Maybrat on Sunday August 5.

Asem also denied claims by Wachid carried in the media that that a person arrested by the police with the initials MY is a KNPB member. Asem said this was not true.

"We were shocked after reading the statement by the South Sorong Kapolres. We're asking the police not to spread false information and to play us off against each other. Once again we assert that the KNPB Maybrat was not involved in the attack on the Kisor Posramil. Simon Waimber (SW) and Maikel Yaam (MY) are civilians from the Kisor hamlet. MY is not a KNPB member and has never been involved in the organisation or KNPB Maybrat activities as was alleged by the South Sorong Kapolres", asserted Asem.

As reported by Tribune News on Friday September 3, Wachid said that the KNPB were the actors and executors of the attack in Kisor. A joint unit of Indonesian police and the TNI (Indonesian military) are currently hunting down 12 people who are part of the KNPB Maybrat network in Kisor.

"There are a total of 13 people in the KNPB Kisor regional network, including MY", said Wachid.

Earlier, West Papua National Liberation Army-Free Papua Organisation (TPNPB-OPM) spokesperson Sebby Sambom also denied that Simon Waimber and Maikel Yaam were involved in the attack.

Sambom explained that Waimber and Yaam, who were arrested by members of the 762/VYS Battalion and the Maybrat 1809 District Military Command (Kodim), are civilians.

"I have already confirmed that Simon Waimber and Maikel Yaam are not registered as members of the TPNPB-OPM Greater Sorong IV defense command area. [TPNPB-OPM Greater Sorong commander] Denny Mos has also explained that they're ordinary people and were not involved in the attack on the Kisor Posramil", Said Sambom by email on Friday.

Mos has stated that the two people arrested and detained by the South Sorong district police are not TPNPB-OPM members and were not involved in the incident.

"The two people are civilians. If you're not able to hunt down the TPNPB-OPM, don't go arresting civilians who know nothing about it", said Mos in a press release received by Suara Papua on Friday.

Mos conveyed this in response to a statement by the commander of the Kasuari XVIII military command, Colonel Arm Hendra Pasireron, in relation to the Kisor attack.

"Simon Waimber is an officer with the Maybrat regency Public Order Agency (Satpol PP), and Maikel Yaam is a civilian from the Kisor hamlet, South Aifat district. Nether were involved in the attack on the Kisor Posramil", he said.

Waimber and Yaam, said Mos, were arrested when security forces were conducting a sweep in pursuit of TPNPB-OPM fighters accused of the attack in the vicinity of the incident.

Pasireron claimed that the two are alleged to be the perpetrators of the attack. This is known based on an initial interrogation in which they confessed to being subordinates of Manfret Fatem, a separatist group leader who is on the wanted persons list over a murder case.

Kasuari XVIII regional military commander Major General I Nyoman Cantiasa said the two were arrested following an order to pursue the attackers of the Kisor Posramil.

"Indeed there are still (perpetrators) being hunted down, but now we have found two perpetrators who were involved there", Cantiasa told journalists at the 181 Sub-Regional Military Command/Praja Vira Tama auditorium.

"The two perpetrators are currently being questioned. They have confessed, initially they only threw rocks, but then the two then attacked us, we will develop [the case] further", explained Cantiasa.

[Translated by James Balowski. Abridged slightly due to repetition. The original title of the article was "Tidak Terlibat Insiden Kisor, KNPB Maybrat Bantah Pernyataan Kapolres Sorsel".]