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Indonesian security forces prepare to move in on Papuan People’s Congress

Indonesian military

Indonesian security forces on the move against Papuan congress in Jayapura. Photo: West Papua Media

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Nick Chesterfield

Several hundred fully armed Indonesian police and military today took up “offensive positions” outside the offices of the DPRD – the Papuan People’s Provincial Assembly, West Papua Media reports.

Local stringers were reported to have sent urgent messages saying two Indonesian Army Pansers with .50 calibre machineguns, one company of soldiers from the TNI and 1 SSK (Strategic Company – 150) of Brimob paramilitary police in full combat gear were making manoeuvres.

It was expected the security forces would attempt to dissolve the gathering of the Third Papuan People’s Congress, which has attracted up to 20,000 delegates from across Papua.

Earlier, it was reported that the congress had started as an “open air” event in Lapangan Sakeus (Sakeus Field).

On the eve of the  congress,  there were differences of opinion between supporters and opposing groups.

The commander of the TPN/OPM – National Liberation Army/Papuan Independence Movement, Lambert Pekikir, strongly rejected the congress.

According to Pekikir, the congress would not solve the Papuan independence issue. The TPN/OPM only supports secession from the Indonesian republic.

Speaking frankly in an interview with Bintang Papua,  Pekikir said the two previous congresses had not produced any results.

“The first congress produced nothing while the second congress also produced nothing and was later followed by the law on special autonomy. So what’s the use of having a third congress,” he said.

Source: West Papua Media