Asia Pacific Report newsdesk
West Papua National Liberation Army-Free Papua Organisation (TPNPB-OPM) spokesperson Sebby Sambom says the armed resistance force is not prepared to hold a dialogue with or pursue diplomacy with the Indonesian government unless it is mediated by the United Nations.
“We, the TPNPB under the leadership of General Goliath Tabuni reject [a bipartite] dialogue with Jakarta,” said Sambom, reports CNN Indonesia.
However, the armed resistance is urging the Indonesian government to hold tripartite negotiations with the TPNPB-OPM Tabuni leadership and all components of the Papuan liberation movement who have been resisting Jakarta rule.
This dialogue, he said, must be mediated by a third party, and the third party must come from the United Nations.
“We don’t have an agenda for a dialogue, but our agenda is tripartite negotiations, namely negotiations mediated by a UN organisational body,” he said.
“So a Jakarta-Papua dialogue will not be realised, if the main actor is not involved,” he explained.
Earlier, the TPNPB-OPM designated Puncak Ilaga, Papua, as a battleground against joint forces from the TNI (Indonesian military) and Polri (Indonesian police). It designated this region because it was far away from civilian settlements and would not endanger Papuan civilians.
Negotiations rather than war
On the other hand, the TNI was not concerned about the designation of Puncak Ilaga as a battleground to fight the OPM.
However, Regional Representatives Council (DPD) member from Papua, Filep Wamafma, is asking that the Indonesian government endeavour to open diplomatic communications with the TPNPB-OPM rather than conducting an open war in Ilaga.
“I hope that there will be political diplomacy between the TNI, Polri and the OPM in order to reach the best solution, to safeguard civilians,” Wamafma told CNN Indonesian.
CNN Indonesia has attempted to contact Join Regional Defence Command III spokesperson Colonel Czi IGN Suriastawa and Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Mahfud MD by text message and telephone about the offer to mediate with the involvement of the UN.
Neither Suriastawa nor Mahfud had responded when this article was published.
Translated by James Balowski for IndoLeft News. The original title of the article was “Jubir OPM Mau Ambil Jalur Diplomasi dengan RI Asal Ada PBB”.