Puncak, West Papua: Civilians Flee as Indonesian Security Forces Raid and Attack Villages

25.08.19: Reports from West Papua indicate that a combined force of the TNI (Indonesian Armed Forces), police and Brimob (Special Operations Police) are conducting raids and attacks against villages in the Puncak Region. Tegelobak village was singled out for attack as it is considered by the occupying Indonesian State to be the headquarters of the TPNPB (National Liberation Army of West Papua). This follows days of unprecedented mass protests in West Papua that were sparked by racist attacks against West Papuan students in Indonesia. The Indonesian State is still blocking internet access in West Papua, however some information is still trickling out via telephone.

According to Suarapapua website, civilians have reported that the joint Indonesian security forces operation entered Tegelobak at dawn on Friday, August 23rd.

Civilians were forced to make an emergency evacuation to the nearby Gome district where they were given rice and emergency cash assistance to purchase tents by local church groups and aid organizations. Civilians from several other villages were also forced to flee to Gome district.

There are also several civilian reports of gunfire being heard – believed to be the sound of clashes between the joint Indonesian security forces and the TPNPB who are led by General Goliath Tabuni.

Civilian sources have also reported that two elderly people remain trapped in Tegelobak. They could not flee because they are unable to walk. In Mitimaga another person is trapped for similar reasons.

(Information roughly translated and summarized from Suarapapua)

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