61 killed in Papua over last year, 3,657 troops deployed this year alone: Watchdog

Kompas.com – August 30, 2022
West Papuan protester carries poster call for end to rights abuses – 2013 (Merdeka)

Achmad Nasrudin Yahya, Jakarta – Indonesian Human Rights Watch (Imparsial) has recorded that 61 people died during a series of 63 incidents of armed violence in Papua between 2021 and July 2022.

Imparsial researcher Hussein Ahmad revealed that the 61 people who died were members of the TNI (Indonesian military), the Polri (Indonesian police), and civilians, including armed criminal groups (KKB).

"Of the 61 people who dies, 37 came from civil society, 21 from the TNI and Polri and eight from KKB", said Ahmad during the launch of a monitoring report titled Armed Violence in Papua and the Impact on Civil Society on Tuesday August 30.

The results of Imparsial's monitoring also found that armed contacts between the TNI, Polri and KKB did not in fact just occur in the forests as most people from outside Papua imagine.

Ahmad said that armed conflicts usually occur in residential areas and administrative centres. The most dominant hotspot for armed conflicts meanwhile was in the highlands.

"So it's not happening in coastal areas, although there were one or two, most occurred in the Papuan highlands", said Ahmad.

In addition to this, Imparsial also noted that non-organic TNI and Polri troops were sent to Papua on at least 13 occasions between January and August 2022.

The estimation of the total number of troops sent is as much as 3,657 TNI and Polri personnel which comprised 3,000 TNI officers and 657 members of the police paramilitary Mobile Brigade (Brimob).

According to Ahmad, all of these non-organic troops were combat qualified. This year, Imparsial did not find that any non-organic troops were sent to Papua except those which were combat qualified.

"In 2020, 2019, 2018, we found for example there were combat qualified detachments which were deployed to build the Trans Wamena-Nduga Highway or from Wamena to other regions, this was also done by detachments", he said.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Imparsial: 61 Orang Meninggal Dunia akibat Kekerasan Bersenjata di Papua 2021-2022".]

Source: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2022/08/30/15404431/imparsial-61-orang-meninggal-dunia-akibat-kekerasan-bersenjata-di-papua-2021