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Indonesian military shoot mother, 3 children in West Papua ‘crossfire’

West Papua

General-turned-President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono - military approach will not solve Papua's problems, says West Papua Media. Photo: WPM sources

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Nick Chesterfield, with local sources and agencies

Indonesian Army (TNI) troops have shot 3 young children and a mother in Puncak Jaya, West Papua, in the latest atrocities carried out during a two-week military offensive aimed at ending armed resistance to Indonesian rule over the occupied colony, according  reports reaching West Papua Media.

Ny Dekimira, 50, was hit on the right foot, and the three children – Jitoban Wenda 4, and their neighbors Dekimin Wenda, 3, and Dimison Wenda, 8 – all had bullets hit their left legs after Indonesian troops fired indiscriminately into the honai (huts) just before dawn on July 14, say local witnesses.

Credible reports about the scale of the offensive are beginning to filter through from the remote and inaccessible area about the scale of the offensive.

The Indonesian government has closed off access to the Tingginambut district to both Indonesian and foreign human rights and media observers, and local activists have had to march for days across rugged terrain to get out verified information.

Local human rights observers and Papuan activists have independently reported to West Papua Media that TNI headquarters staff have threatened their safety if they alert journalists to abuses carried out by Indonesian security forces against West Papuan people.

Undeterred, the mass-based Papuan activist network West Papua National Committee (KNPB) has accused the Indonesian military “under the regime of General Susilo Bambang Yudhoyhono” of manipulating the situation in Puncak Jaya to conduct military domination and control of the local population, despite the recent public relations offensive that it was engaged in “bakti” social service campaigns to help the people.

West Papua map

Map of the military operations area in the Tingginambut district of Puncak Jaya. Map: Wikipedia, Creative Commons

According the KNPB, the TNI should not cover up their mistakes and militarism by engaging in social activities – they should cease military activities on civilians altogether.

“Their reasons make no sense, because it’s so funny that the military themselves who set fire to the houses of citizens in almost all settlements, Indonesian military who burned alive the people’s animals, burned residents’ gardens; and now the TNI and police are trying to justify themselves as heroes by playing a cheap propaganda in the media, ” said a KNPB spokesperson at the weekend.

Activists from the area have provided photographs to West Papua Media.

More information and pictures at West Papua Media.

Indonesian military launch fresh West Papua onslaught

Indonesian chopper

Indonesian troops board helicopter in West Papua operation. Photo: WPM sources