It is almost conclusive that Free West Papua’s armed wing behind the shooting at PT Freeport Indonesia gold and copper mine area near Timika in West Papua on Monday 30 March with one New Zealander shot dead and two other workers being severely wounded.
Papua has been in a struggle for independence for years and armed groups, which authorities say operate in several regencies in the province, are reported to have been behind numerous violent incidents in the region, said Asia Pacific Report.
The West Papua Liberation Army (WPLA) which is claimed as under the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) control, continue its usual way of action: killing and terrorising innocent people in West Papua. It is not a surprise because ULMWP’s leader Benny Wenda used the same method when he was still in West Papua. Please read Benny Wenda story.
As usual, Benny Wenda play the tricky question: who are the actual shooters in this attack?
RNZ Pacific reports that according to the local police officer, the shooting was led by a local commander of West Papua Liberation Army, Joni Botak.
While Benny Wenda said:
“The ULMWP urges the international media to treat claims about the shooting with extreme caution. There is a long history of the Indonesian military carrying out killings, posing as West Papuans, in order to justify further militarisation, security deals and crackdowns.”
Benny Wenda simply wants to twist the fact that either he can’t control the armed wing of ULMWP or he command the killing and then accuses Indonesian military as the perpetrator.
Benny Wenda repeatedly claimed that he is a peace fighter and all killings in West Papua are a scenario made by the Indonesian government. In reality, though, it has been evidently confirmed that the armed group he led recently killed a New Zealander wounded two others. This fact is supported by the statement from the spokesman of WPLA as follows:
A spokesman for the guerilla force, Sebby Sambom, said the Liberation Army (TPNPB) claimed responsibility for the attack in Timika, under the leadership of “Gusby Waker and Jhony Beanal”.
“The action was carried out in accordance with the TPNPB War Declaration which stipulated that the TPNPB would carry out attacks on the Freeport Gold Company area, from PortSite to Grasberg,” said a statement from the Liberation Army.
“In this case we have carried out an attack on the Freeport Employees, because we have asked Freeport Management to stop the Mining Operations but they are still working so we attack.”
My suggestion for the future
Understanding the nature of violent by Free West Papua Movement, we would like to suggest:
- First, the Indonesian government in Jakarta must arrest the perpetrator of the shooting at PT Freeport Indonesia.
- Second, Indonesian police and military should conduct surgical operation eliminating all terrorist separatist combatant.
- Third, restart a constructive dialogue with genuine peaceful West Papua movements, and
- Finally, disclose all facts about violent attacks by Free West Papua armed wing and confront this fact with ULMWP who claim control over them.