29th May 2020
Papua Police Chief, Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw. (ANTARA/Evarianus Supar)
I have informed the central government about the incident, which needs to be strongly condemned. The shooting of the two medical workers who were on a humanitarian mission is really inhumane
Timika, Papua (ANTARA) – The recent attack on two medical workers by Papuan armed rebels cannot be justified on any ground and needs to be strongly condemned, Papua Police Chief, Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw, said on Friday.
“I have informed the central government about the incident, which needs to be strongly condemned. The shooting of the two medical workers who were on a humanitarian mission is really inhumane,” he said in Timika, the capital of Mimika District.
On May 22, 2020, two medical workers — Almalek Bagau and Eunico Somou — from the Wandai Health Center in Intan Jaya District were reportedly shot by armed rebels while they were delivering drugs for COVID-19 patients.
According to police, Bagau and Somou were carrying walkie-talkie devices to communicate with the local COVID-19 post as there was no cellular network in the area. This led their attackers to mistake them for security personnel and open fire at them.
“If they (rebels) want to face military and police personnel, that’s their business. But, they must not kill humanitarian workers. Instead of killing humanitarian workers, they must assist them and thank them,” Waterpauw said.
The TNI and police have launched a hunt for the rebels who attacked the medical workers, he said, adding armed Papuan criminals have been carrying out acts of violence against security personnel and innocent civilians.
The security situation in Papua remains fragile due to acts of deadly violence attributed to Papuan separatists.
The rebels have engaged in frequent exchanges of fire with the Indonesian military and police personnel. The rebels have also launched deadly attacks on civilians over the past years, killing many of them.
As per Papua Police records, from early January to December 28, 2019, at least 23 shooting and criminal cases involving armed Papuan groups have claimed the lives of 10 members of the Indonesian police and military, as well as 10 civilians.
The armed groups mainly targeted the administrative areas of the districts of Puncak Jaya, Jayawijaya, Mimika, and Paniai in 2019, Waterpauw had remarked on December 28 last year. (INE)
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