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Conflict of Intan Jaya, Violence at the expense of civilians

January 1, 2021

Conflict of Intan Jaya: Violence at the expense of civilians
Reporter: Victor Mambor December 28, 2020 5:46 am

Member of the Papua DPR, Thomas Sondegau (left) with the regent and muspida Intan Jaya when they saw the shooting victim at Intan Jaya last October 2020 – Jubi. Dock

Jayapura, Jubi – The atmosphere on Saturday (19/9/2020) morning in the courtyard of the Elementary School for the Education and Schooling Foundation of Evangelical Churches in Tanah Papua or YPPGI Hitadipa was tense. The army gathered Hitadipa civilians at the school yard which had been occupied by the TNI, and made it the Headquarters of the Military District Command or the Hitadipa Preparation Koramil. A number of Hitadipa Preparatory Koramil soldiers said the TNI gave two days for the residents to return the SS1 firearms that were lost since 17 September 2020. SS1 was seized by the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) in an attack that killed Serka Sahlan. The threat clearly shows the separatist stigmatization attached to Hitadipa civilians. This threat frightened Hitadipa civilians who were burdened with returning the weapons they never took.

The gathering of residents on Saturday morning was not attended by Pastor Jeremiah Zanambani. Since morning, he and his wife, Miriam Zoani, have been going to Bomba, a small village on the hillside south of Kampung Hitadipa, cultivating their garden and repairing their pigpen. “[Since] Friday night, Father said on Saturday he wanted to help Mama finish or build a garden first, because on Monday [Father] wanted to go up to the assignment. On that Saturday, September 19, both Father and I went to the garden which is in the same location as the pig pen. Father finished the fence in the pig pen, while I dug up the sweet potatoes. While we were working, around 13.00 noon in Hitadipa there were gunshots. When we heard the gunshot, we entered the pig pen and closed the door, because the TNI had told us that if we heard gunfire, we had to enter the house and lock the door, ”said Mama Miriam. [1] The gunshot heard by Mama Miriam was gunfire when the TPNPB attacked the Hitadipa Preparatory Koramil Headquarters. The TPNPB attack killed Pratu Dwi Akbar Utomo, a 711 / Raksatama Infantry Battalion soldier based in Gorontalo Province, Sulawesi. [2] He was part of a dispatch of troops who were seconded to guard the Hitadipa Preparatory Koramil.

The incident started the movement of TNI troops pursuing TPNPB and combing a small village called Taundugu. The series of events culminated in the shooting that killed Pastor Jeremiah Zanambani. After the shooting of Pastor Yeremia Zanambani, Head of Information for the Joint Defense Region Command III, Col. Czi IGN Suriastawa, made a unilateral statement, saying Pastor Yeremia was shot by the TPNPB. "They are seeking attention at the UN General Assembly later this month," said Suriastawa, Sunday (9/20/2020). [3] Suriastawa’s claim was quoted by various media in Jakarta, forming public opinion outside Papua. However, the public in Papua finds it difficult to believe the TNI’s claim that Pastor Yeremia Zanambani was killed by the TPNPB. Pastor Yeremia Zanambani is a respected religious figure in Papua. He is the former Chairman of the Hitadipa Indonesian Bible Tent Church (GKII) Class. Until his death, Pastor Yeremia Zanambani also served as Chair of the Bible Theology College in Hitadipa, as well as advisor to GKII Region 3 Papua in Hitadipa. He is also a linguist, and translator of the Bible scriptures from Indonesian to Moni, the language of the indigenous people in Intan Jaya. “In the ministry, the Pastor Pastor’s daily work is in two churches. The first is in the Bahtera Church congregation in Janamba, the second is in Bulapa. Father also joined the Bible translation team from Indonesian to Moni, so Father often went to Timika or Nabire. Father is also a teacher at the Upper Theological School in Sugapa. Usually the Father is with his family and children in Hitadipa on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, ”said Mama Miriam. [4] A number of human rights advocacy activists and churches are trying to find comparable information about what actually happened in Intan Jaya on September 19, 2020. They received testimony from Hitadipa that the shooting of Pastor Yeremia Zanambani was carried out by TNI soldiers. The murder was part of a series of violence in Hitadipa since October 25, 2019, when the TPNPB shot dead three motorcycle taxi drivers. Pastor Yeremia Zanambani is the 14th victim of a series of armed conflicts that occurred in Intan Jaya Regency since 25 October 2019. Since then, until 19 September 2020, at least ten civilians have died at the hands of the warring parties in Intan Jaya. and a total of eight other civilians were injured. During the same period, a total of four security officers were killed in Intan Jaya. After the shooting of Pastor Yeremia Zanambani, violence in Intan Jaya continued. Catechist from Emondi Station, Timika Diocese Catholic Church, Agustinus Duwitau was shot by TNI soldiers on October 7, 2020. Duwitau, who was injured, was then treated in Sugapa. On October 26, 2020, TNI soldiers shot Rufinus Tigau, a catechist from the Bilogai Parish, the Catholic Church of the Timika Diocese. The shooting that killed Rufinus Tigau took place in Kampung Jalai, Intan Jaya. The widespread violence that victimized civilians shows that the TNI did not fully control the excesses of their military operations in Intan Jaya. The legal process for various cases of violence perpetrated by TNI soldiers is also minimal. Of the various cases of violence in Hitadipa, only the burning of the health personnel’s official home in Taundugu has reached the stage of investigation. The Indonesian Army Military Police Center (Puspomad) named eight Indonesian Army soldiers as suspects in the arson case. [5] Until early November 2020, hundreds of civilians in Hitadipa District and a number of other districts had fled. Since 19 September 2020, Mama Miriam has never returned to Hitadipa, and has never seen the tomb of Pastor Jeremiah Zanambani. “We can’t go back there. We are afraid because there are still TNI there. We want them out so we can go there. We feel threatened, because from the start they have already conveyed threatening language to the church and society. We are now hard to go home. Until now, we also don’t know where Father is in the grave. We walked back and forth and didn’t know where to come back. We don’t know, we go home whether we are safe or not, ”said Mama Miriam. [6] (*) Read the Intan Jaya Conflict (1)

Baca Konflik Intan Jaya (3)

Catatan kaki

[1] Wawancara, Miriam Zoani, 23 Oktober 2020.



[4] Wawancara, Miriam Zoani, 23 Oktober 2020.


[6] Wawancara, Miriam Zoani, 23 Oktober 2020.

A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
original bahasa link at

2) Intan Jaya Conflict (3): New Autonomous Region, New Conflict Reporter: Victor Mambor Papua No.1 News Portal | Jubi Jayapura, Jubi – Intan Jaya District, especially Sugapa District and Hitadipa District, is not the TPNPB operational area. Intan Jaya Regency is a New Autonomous Region (DOB) resulting from the division of Paniai Regency. [1] Intan Jaya Regency was formed with the promulgation of Law of the Republic of Indonesia Number 54 of 2008 on November 26, 2008. Intan Jaya consists of six districts that were previously part of Paniai Regency, namely Agisiga, Biandoga, Hitadipa, Homeyo, Sugapa, Wandai. [2] In 2013, there were two additional districts in Intan Jaya, namely Ugimba (the result of the division of Sugapa District) and Tomosiga District (the result of the division of Agisiga District. The addition of these districts was accompanied by an increase in the number of villages to 97 villages. Until the early part of the division, generally the social problems in Intan Jaya were in the form of fights between residents, barriers and addiction to alcohol. However, there was no armed conflict involving security actors such as the TNI, Polri, and the TPNPB armed group. After 11 years of formation, Intan Jaya District has not been effective in improving education services for its 49,293 inhabitants. The government of Intan Jaya Regency has failed to address the problems of low quality human resources, poverty, unequal economic growth, underdevelopment, and isolation. This has an impact on the low competitiveness of Intan Jaya Regency. [3] Intan Jaya District’s HDI achievement is still lower than that of Papua Province. In 2015, the IPM of Intan Jaya Regency was still at 44, 35, while Papua Province had reached 57, 25. The lack of educational facilities, as well as a limited teaching staff, affects the teaching and learning process and the literacy rate there. In 2019, according to the Intan Jaya Education and Teaching Office, there were only 47 schools, consisting of 3 TK units, 36 SD units, 7 SMP units, and 1 SMA unit. Intan Jaya has 222 teachers consisting of 6 kindergarten teachers, 138 elementary school teachers, 67 junior high school teachers, and 11 high school teachers. [4] Health facilities at Intan Jaya also remain minimal. The Intan Jaya Health Office noted that there are 24 health facilities, which rely on eight Community Health Centers (Puskesmas) that are spread evenly in eight Intan Jaya districts. A total of eight Puskesmas are assisted by 13 units of Auxiliary Puskesmas (Pustu) which are only in Homeyo District and Wandai District and two units of medical centers. Intan Jaya only has one Regional General Hospital unit which occupies the Sugapa Puskesmas building. There are also no maternity homes and pharmacies in Intan Jaya. The lack of health facilities in Intan Jaya makes it difficult for people to reach good health services. To get better health services, people have to make long trips to Nabire or Timika. [5] The establishment of Intan Jaya Regency failed to improve the quality of public services for its citizens. On the other hand, Intan Jaya has actually experienced a number of impacts from the expansion, including new conflicts rooted in local political issues, or violence perpetrated by security forces such as the police or the army. In the 2014 General Election, there was a dispute regarding the results of the election for Intan Jaya Regional Legislative Council (DPRD) Candidates and accusations of vote mark-up. [6]

Apart from the dispute over the Legislative Election of the Intan Jaya DPRD, the presence of security forces in Sugapa, the capital of Intan Jaya Regency, has also created new friction. On September 29, 2014, a resident who was previously involved in a fight with two Brimob members was shot. [7] Seprianus Japugau (22) received a gunshot wound to the stomach, while Benyamin Agimbau (30) was seriously injured because he was hit by a gun butt. [8] After that, there were at least seven intimidations of physical clashes between Brimob and civilians. A number of these cases included the shooting by the Brimob unit against Malon Sondegau in Sugapa on August 25 2016 (injured and still alive). Another case was the shooting of the Mobile Brigade against Otinus Sondegau (killed) in Sugapa on August 27, 2016, which caused a mass rage and the burning of the Sugapa Sector Police Headquarters. [9] There is one other case of violence that also involved security forces, namely the stabbing that killed the head of the Kemandoga tribe Ijihogama Selegani in Homeyo in December 2015. [10] A bigger conflict occurred when the regional head election (Pilkada) was held to elect the Regent and Deputy Regent of Intan Jaya for the 2017-2022 period.The Pilkada led to disputes and clashes between sympathizers of the regent candidate pair Yulius Yapugau-Yunus Kalabetme and incumbent Natalis Tabuni-Robert Kobogoyauw. The Pilkada case began with a clash between sympathizers of the candidates that took place at the Intan Jaya General Election Commission (KPU) Office on February 23, 2017. At that time, the Yulius Yapugau-Yunus Kalabetme supporters asked the KPU to speed up the vote counting process for the Intan Jaya Pilkada. The request was rejected, because the KPU Intan Jaya had not received the recapitulation of votes from Wandai District and Agisiga District. [11] As a result, there were clashes between supporters which killed three people. A number of 101 other residents were injured. [12]. The Papua Police immediately sent 400 police officers to Intan Jaya. A total of 30 Brimob from Bali who were previously in Dogiyai District were also transferred to Intan Jaya. [13] The recapitulation of the vote acquisition was finally completed by KPU Intan Jaya on February 24, 2017. However, on May 15 2017, the Papua General Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu) rejected the results of the Intan Jaya Pilkada recapitulation. Bawaslu assessed that many administrative requirements were not fulfilled by the Intan Jaya KPU. The problem then became a dispute by the Constitutional Court (MK). The Constitutional Court ordered the Re-Voting (PSU) at 7 different polling stations. [14] On August 29, 2017, Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, Arief Hidayat, read out the verdict, declaring Natalis Tabuni and Robert Kobogoyauw to win the 2017 Intan Jaya Pilkada with 36,883 votes. This decision also canceled the decision of the KPU Intan Jaya which won Yulius Yapugau and Yunus Kalabetme. [15] The Constitutional Court’s decision sparked protests and the dismissal of Sugapa airport. A number of Intan Jaya Regency Government offices in Sugapa were burned by the masses. The rampage of the masses paralyzed economic activity in Sugapa, because most of the stalls and markets chose to close. The indigenous people chose to stay indoors, while some migrants chose to flee to the police and army headquarters. [16] After the mass rampage in Sugapa, 100 Brimob Detachment A Polda South Sulawesi were sent to Intan Jaya to guard vital objects, such as airports and government offices. [17] After being inaugurated as Regent of Intan Jaya on December 12, 2017, Natalis Tabuni stated that she would reconcile with all political opponents. However, these efforts were not fully implemented. The 2017 Pilkada conflict made it difficult for the Intan Jaya Regency Government to mediate the various new conflicts that occurred there. (*) Read the Intan Jaya Conflict (1) Read the Intan Jaya Conflict (2) footnote

Catatan kaki

[1] Undang-Undang Republik Indonesia Nomor: 54 Tahun 2008, tentang pembentukan Kabupaten Intan Jaya.


















3) Indonesian foreign ministry cares for students, teachers in Papua
30th December 2020

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Indonesia’s foreign ministry cares for students and teachers in dire need of gadgets in various provinces, including Papua and West Papua, to enable them get access to online-learning platforms and services amid the COVID-19 situation.

As of the end of December 2020, 438 gadgets were distributed to the recipients through the ministry’s partnering organizations in various cities, Foreign Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi was quoted by ANTARA as saying here on Wednesday.

"From whatever island we are from, we play a role in making Indonesia much better in the future. Making the country everlastingly peaceful and prosperous; the prosperity that can equally be enjoyed by all Indonesians from Sabang to Merauke," she emphasized.

Speaking at a virtual meeting to donate the gadgets to recipients in Papua and West Papua, Marsudi revealed that the initiative to assist the students and teachers was part of the ministry’s action programs to commemorate its 75th anniversary this year.

Through its partnering organizations, the ministry distributed 438 gadgets to recipients in Jayapura, greater Jakarta areas, Bandung, Batam, Bima, Brebes, Cilegon, Cimahi, Medan, Rembang, Semarang, Surabaya, Tangerang, and Yogyakarta.

Especially in the provinces of Papua and West Papua, the gadgets were donated to 30 junior and senior high school students and three teachers residing in Biak Numfor and Raja Ampat through the ministry’s partner, Hoshizora Foundation, she remarked.

Meanwhile, Kristian Wabiser, a coordinating teacher in Biak Numfor District, Papua Province, lauded the foreign ministry for its donated gadgets, as they would help both students and teachers in villages that participate in e-learning activities.

The students receiving the gadgets also expressed their gratitude to the foreign ministry, while Marsudi appealed to them to study hard to fulfill their ambitions in life and contribute to a better Indonesia.

Papua and West Papua are striving to catch up with other Indonesian provinces in driving multisectoral developments amid challenging hurdles in vulnerable security and human resources.

ANTARA noted that the development of human resources was an important matter for which comprehensive evaluation was necessary since the human development index scores of Papua and West Papua remained lower than those of other provinces.

Referring to Indonesia’s 2019 human development index, the scores of Papua and West Papua were recorded at 64.7 and 60.84 respectively.

Owing to this factual reality, improving the quality of human resources must be prioritized amid stiff competition among Indonesians and among nations in the digital era.

The government is indeed aware of the challenging reality. To address the problems, it draws emphasis to prosperity-oriented approaches by boosting infrastructure construction projects to enable them to be at par with other provinces.

As recently disclosed by Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko, President Joko Widodo also focused on boosting the economic sector of Papua and West Papua by, for instance, enforcing the one-fuel price policy there.

As part of its endeavors to create social justice for the local people, the government also remains focused on development of the health and education sectors in the two provinces, he remarked.

Moeldoko believes that the second phase of special autonomy status granted for Papua and West Papua would be driven to fuel a new spirit in expediting developments to create prosperity in both provinces.
Related news: Year ender – UNSC stint highlights Indonesia’s role as bridge-builder

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Reporter: Aria C, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf


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