Papuan MP calls for NZ involvement in independent shooting inquiry

Centre of conflict ... site of the gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia’s (PTFI) mining area in Grasberg, Mimika, Papua. Image: Nethy Dharma Somba/The Jakarta Post

Pacific Media Centre

A member of the Papuan Parliament has called for an independent inquiry into last Monday’s Freeport copper mine shooting conducted by the United Nations Human Rights Council with New Zealand involvement.

Laurenzus Kadepa has urged the establishment of such an transparent inquiry to to clear up “suspicion” over the killing of New Zealand mine worker Graeme Wall and the wounding of at least two other people.

“Civilians want an independent team and the two defending parties (the National Liberation Army of West Papua, TPNPB, and the Indonesian National Police) must accept this proposal because many civilians have become victims [in the conflict over the mine for independence],” Kadepa said in a statement.

READ MORE: Background on the West Papua self-determination issue

Kadepa’s statement said:

“The shooting of PT. Freeport Indonesia employees occurred again in the Kuala Kencana Timika work area, Monday, March 30, 2020. One foreigner from New Zealand was killed.

“I think the government needs to allow [an] independent investigation team. The international team, or one from the Human Rights Council, the United Nations and also the New Zealand state. Some time ago the party acting in the name of the National Liberation Army of West Papua or, in short TPNPB, has determined the battlefield in the Freeport area, from Grasberg [to the] Port Site. The TPNPB group has stated a responsible attitude towards the shooting on 30 March 2020 at Kuala Kencana’s Office Building / OB 1 office.

“One foreign employee from New Zealand was reported killed and another Indonesian employee was injured and is still being treated. The Papua Regional Police and Mimika Regional Police have said the perpetrators of the shooting were the KKB group led by Joni Botak who operated in the area.

Laurenzus Kadepa
Laurenzus Kadepa …. seeks independent inquiry. Image: Papua Legislature

“Although the TPNPB conveyed the responsibility of departing from past experience, from this incident I as a member of Parliament elected from this region thought that an independent investigation team was needed. The international team, or from the UN Human Rights Council, [would involve] New Zealand, the country of origin of the Freeport employee who was killed.

“This is very important. Because the shooting in the Freeport area was never revealed clearly and ultimately the victims [are] the people of Papua. Civilians want an independent team and the two defending parties (TPNPB and the Indonesian National Police) must accept this proposal because many civilians have become victims.

“I hope the government supports and accepts this proposal and is not afraid. I am sure it will benefit Indonesia in international diplomacy if the civilian (employee) who was killed was really shot by the TPNPB group according to [the] claim.

“The Indonesian government must continue to engage the international community so that everything is open about what is really happening in Papua. Conversely, do not be suspicious.

“Thus my proposal does not provide support to certain groups, nor does it corner the conflicting parties, in this case the TPNPB group and the Indonesian National Police, which are state instruments. But more on the safety of civilians going forward.

“Thank you, God bless.”

Laurenzus Kadepa
Member of the Papua Parliament
Jayapura, 31 March 2020

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  1. Our governments and news media should be ashamed of their ongoing denial of responsibility for the United Nations invasion and occupation of West Papua since 1962 when New Zealand voted in support of the invasion. It is LONG overdue that the United Nations appointed administrator was withdrawn and the people allowed their human rights to life & liberty that our governments have since 21st Sept 1962 been denying them; please see our paper on this
    West Papua Exposed: An Abandoned Non-Self-Governing or Trust Territory

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