KNPB denies involvement in riots at convoy escorting Lukas Enembe's body

Suara Papua – December 29, 2023
Morning Star flag flies during convoy escorting Lukas Enembe' body in Jayapura – December 28, 2023 (SP)

Jayapura – The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) has stated that it was not involved in the torching of shop houses, assaults and vandalism in Jayapura Regency and Jayapura City during the convoy accompanying the body of the late former Papua governor Lukas Enembe (LE) on Thursday December 28.

"In response to the accusations addressed at the KNPB through the media regarding incidents of arson, assault and destruction of facilities in Jayapura, these are false accusations. The KNPB is not responsible", said KNPB national spokesperson Ones Suhuniap in a statement on Friday December 29.

Suhuniap said that the convoy escorting Enembe's body from Sentani to Central Koya was not part of the KNPB's agenda. The KNPB never issued any verbal or written instructions for its members to accompany Enembe's body from the Sentani airport to Koya.

“This is slander against the KNPB. The welcoming committee was not the KNPB, but the Papua provincial government itself, but instead the KNPB was blamed. The KNPB as an organisation was not involved in picking up the late Lukas Enembe's body", he said.

According to Ones, the accusations by Cenderawasih/XVII regional military commander (Pangdam) Major General Izak Pangemanan are irresponsible and a hoax. The KNPB cannot always be accused of being the perpetrator behind every violent incident that occurs in Papua without objective evidence and facts.

He also said that the media should not create an uproar by spreading news that does not match the facts. News must be based on valid evidence.

“The Cenderawasih Pangdam and the Papua Polda [regional police] have authority over intelligence to anticipate and guarantee security and must be held responsible. They have a duty to maintain security so they are responsible for the activities during the pickup and escorting of the late LE's body".

"Don't blame the KNPB if you are incapable of or failed to maintain security and public order. The accusations against the KNPB are part of diverting the issue away from Lukas Enembe's death. We believe that there is a scenario where there are efforts to scapegoat the KNPB like in 2019 in the racism case. It is very similar.”

“Stop accusing the KNPB of being the actor, because the KNPB sees Lukas Enembe as part of the Indonesian government. The KNPB had nothing to do with the welcoming committee or the mourning committee for Lukas Enembe."

"We ask the Cenderawasih Pangdam to clarify the fake news accusing the KNPB of being the perpetrator."


According to a CNN Indonesia report on December 29, Major General Izak Pangemanan asserted that the rioting that occurred when the convoy was escorting Lukas Enembe's body was masterminded by members of the KNPB and the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).

"KNPB and ULMWP members rioted when accompanying the body from the STAKIN [Evangelical Theology School] in Sentani, Jayapura Regency, to the deceased's residence in Koya Tengah, Muara Tami district, Jayapura City", Pangemanan was quoted as saying after a meeting with community members at the Cenderawasih/XVII Regional Military Command Headquarters in Polimak, Jayapura, on Friday December 29 (

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "KNPB Bantah Terlibat Pembakaran dan Pengrusakan Ruko Saat Iring-Iringan Jenazah Lukas Enembe".]