Intan Jaya conflict west papua (2): Violence that sacrifices civilians

Keterangan Gambar : Voice of America voa


Member of the Papua Parliament, Thomas Sondegau (left) with the regent and muspida Intan Jaya when they saw the shooting victim at Intan Jaya, West Papua in October 2020 ago

jayapura, Jubi – The atmosphere on Saturday (19/9/2020) morning in the yard of the Elementary School for the Education and School 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 Sub-District Military 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 which were lost since 17 September 2020. The SS1 was seized by the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) in an attack that killed Serka Sahlan.

the threat clearly demonstrates the separatist stigmatization attached to Hitadipa civilians. This threat frightened Hitadipa civilians who were burdened with returning the weapons they never took.

Pastor Yeremia Zanambani did not attend the gathering on Saturday morning. 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 the gunshot, 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, Sulawesi2] He was part of the troop deployment 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, Pastor Yeremia Zanambani, Head of Information for the Joint Defense Region Command III, Col. Czi IGN Suriastawa, made a unilateral statement, saying that 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 head of the Hitadipa Indonesian Bible Tent Church (GKII) Klasis. Until his death, Pastor Yeremia Zanambani also served as the Head of the Bible Theology College in Hitadipa, as well as an advisor to GKII Region 3 Papua in Hitadipa. he is also a linguist, and translator of the holy Bible 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 with his family and children in Hitadipa is Friday, Saturday and Sunday, ”said Mama Miriam. [4]

A number of human rights advocacy activists and churches are trying to find comparative 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 October 25, 2019since then, until 19 September 2020, there have been at least ten civilians who 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 and victimization of civilians shows that the TNI is not fully in control of 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 house 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 were afraid because there were still TNI there. We want them out so we can go there. We feel threatened, because from the start they have conveyed the language of threat 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 were pacing 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

Pendeta jeremia sambani

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