Wenda accuses Jakarta’s military of ‘massacre’ after killing of 3 Papuans

Victims of the Nipuralome shooting 4 June 2021
Some of the Papuan victims of the shooting allegedly by Indonesia security forces in Nipuralome village, Ilaga, Puncak regency, on June 4. Image: Human Rights and Peace Coalition for Papua

The United Liberation Movement of West Papua has accused Indonesian “colonial forces” of a new massacre with the killing of three civilians, “adding to the hundreds of thousands of West Papuans killed during six decades of occupation”.

Interim president Benny Wenda of the ULMWP has also claimed that Jakarta has put the entire population of 4.4 million “at risk of being swiped out” by Indonesian security forces by being labelled “terrorist”.

In a statement, Wenda said a husband and wife, Patianus Kogoya, 45, and Paitena Murib, 43, had been killed at Nipuralome village, along with another Papuan man, Erialek Kogoya, 55.

“They were shot dead by joint security services on June 4 in Ilaga, Puncak regency. Three others, including a five year old child, were wounded during the massacre,” he said.

“Local churches have confirmed the incident, even as the colonial Indonesian police have spread hoaxes to hide their murders.”

Wenda said cold blooded murder was becoming the culture for the security forces.

“West Papua is the site of massacre on top of massacre, from Paniai to Nduga to Intan Jaya to Puncak. This is heart-breaking news following the killing of our religious leaders like Pastor Zanambani,” he said.

‘Count more of our dead’
“We now have to count more of our dead. How much longer will this continue?”

Wenda said Indonesia had labelled the OPM (Free Papua Moivement) “terrorist”.

“The OPM is all West Papuans who have hopes for freedom and self-determination, all organisations that fight for justice and liberation in West Papua,” he said.

“I am OPM, the ULMWP is OPM. If you label the OPM ‘terrorist’, you are labelling the entire population of West Papua ‘terrorist’.

“The Indonesian state is targeting all West Papuans for elimination – the evidence is there in Ilaga last week, with unarmed civilians being gunned down.

“How do they justify this killing? With the ‘terrorist’ label.”

Wenda claimed these “stigmatising labels” were part of Jakarta’s systematic plan to justify its presence in West Papua and the “deployment of 21,000 troops to our land”.

He said that the ULMWP continued its urgent call for Indonesia to allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights into West Papua.

“Intervention is needed now. What is happening in Palestine is happening in West Papua,” he said.

Wenda appealed to solidarity groups in the Pacific and internationally to speak up for “freedom and justice”.

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