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Papua Liberation Army Leader Pledges No Surrender

February 28, 2013

Papua Liberation Army Leader Pledges No Surrender
Robert Isidorus | February 28, 2013

Jayapura. The National Liberation Army of the Free Papua Movement, led by Goliath Tabuni, said it had no interest in money or power and that it was purely fighting to achieve an independent Papua.

“We want to be fully independent,” Anton Lego Obet Tabuni, secretary general of the organization known as TPN-OPM, told Suara Pembaruan in a phone call.

“We know that [we’re being chased],” Anton said. “We will not surrender and we will not back down even slightly in maintaining our ideology. This is serious.”

Asked to comment on Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian’s statement linking the shootings that killed eight military officers to the regional elections, Anton denied it.

“We’re not looking for positions and therefore the allegation is inaccurate.”

Tito said police and military heightened security in Sinak and Tingginambut after an ambush killed soldiers and four civilians.
Tito said the number of officers increased as the regional election process was still ongoing.

“I will not withdraw members of the forces in Ilaga, Puncak district, to preempt any unwanted incidents. Right now the condition is quite conducive,” he said.

Tito said that the incidents in Sinak and Tingginambut could have been arranged by candidates who took part in the elections.
“The shootings in Tingginambut and Sinak were not related to the Free Papua Movement issue, but to another.”

A leading human rights group has blamed poor law enforcement for the recent murder of the eight soldiers and four civilians in Puncak Jaya.

In a statement on Saturday, the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) questioned police effectiveness in the restive province.

After expressing sadness over the deaths, Kontras coordinator Haris Azhar said, “This series of violent acts are crimes that have to be responded to by law enforcement.”

Haris said that greater transparency in the legal process following such crimes would likely reduce instances of violence in Papua, given the current extent of secrecy imposed.

Kontras data showed that in Puncak Jaya there were 15 cases of violence since the start of last year, including two incidents in which unidentified people snatched firearms from officers.

In the 15 incidents, nine military officers, two police officers and 10 civilians died. One military officer and nine civilians were also hurt.

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