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West Papua Report January 2015: Police, Intel, Paniai, Unity, Joko, Gold

January 21, 2015

West Papua Report
January 2015

This is the 129th in a series of monthly reports that focus on developments affecting Papuans. This series is produced by the non-profit West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) drawing on media accounts, other NGO assessments, and analysis and reporting from sources within West Papua. This report is co-published by the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN). Back issues are posted online at edmcw. If you wish to receive the report directly via e-mail, send a note to etan . Link to this issue:

The Report leads with "Perspective," an analysis piece; followed by "Update," a summary of some developments during the covered period; and then "Chronicle" which includes analyses, statements, new resources, appeals and action alerts related to West Papua. Anyone interested in contributing a Perspective or responding to one should write to edmcw. The opinions expressed in Perspectives are the author’s and not necessarily those of WPAT or ETAN.For additional news on West Papua see the reg.westpapua listserv archive or on Twitter.


This edition’s Perspective is part two of Made Supriatma’s overview of Indonesian security force deployments in West Papua. This looks at the police and intelligence agencies. In the UPDATE: A report on the brutal killing of five Papuan civilians and wounding of many more by security personnel in the Paniai area in early December. Papuan leaders gathered in Vanuatu launched a new coalition to apply for membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group. President Widodo pledged during a Christmas visit to West Papua to launch a joint investigation of the killings in Paniai. His administration also promised to "listen" to Papuans and to direct more resources to West Papua to develop railroad infrastructure. A minister contends that money flowing from the Freeport mine will finance development plans. December saw more violence in the vicinity of the mine. The discovery of gold in protected forests in West Papua does not necessarily auger well for Papuans. In Chronicle, Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive-Director of the LP3BH, opposes plans to create a new military command in West Papua.


Indonesian Security Forces in West Papua (Part 2)
By Made Supriatma

Made Supriatma is an editor with Joyo Indonesia News Service.

Part 1, published in the December 2014 report covers the Army, Navy and Air Force.

Police Intelligence Conclusion


The police is second biggest security force in West Papua. Like the army, the regional police headquarters (Polda) encompasses both Papua and West Papua provinces. It has 29 precinct/district-level offices (27 Polres and 2 Polresta), 174 subdistrict offices (Polsek), and 165 police posts. The Polda has various agencies including intelligence, crimes, and traffic.

The presence of police in Papua grows following the proliferation of civilian bureaucracy. They have offices at nearly every regency and municipality. The police have become a significant security force in West Papua. The regional police (Polda) have around 2,700 personnel. At the precinct level (Polres) police have 10,904 personnel distributed in 27 Polres. In total there are around 14,854 police in West Papua.[

Polda Papua also has two battalions of Brigade Mobil or Brimob, which have headquarters in Jayapura and Sorong respectively. As more responsibilities over domestic security are now handed over to the police, Brimob have been forced to take over many jobs that previously were done by the army. However, one drawback is immediately apparent: Brimob are not trained in anti-guerilla combat. In this case, the army is still taking the leading role.

On the other side, however, we can also see that the police assume a greater role in handling unrests in this region. This is especially apparent with targeted killings done by Densus-88 (Detachment 88), an anti-terror detachment established following the Bali bombings in 2002 and funded by Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. If killing of Papuan leader Theys Hiyo Eluay in 2001 was conducted by the army’s Kopassus, the killings of Kelly Kwalik in 2009 and Mako Tabuni in 2012 were both allegedly performed by Densus-88. The role of Densus-88 will likely be greater in West Papua in the future.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 21, 2015 2:18 pm

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