Puncak Regency, West Papua: Raids & Attacks by Indonesian Security Forces Leave 4 Dead & 1500 Displaced

02.09.19: As of Monday, 02.09.2019, Indonesian security forces continued raiding villages in the Gome District of Puncak Regency. The number of civilians forced to leave their villages and flee to Yenggernok continues to rise and has reached around 1500 people.

Security forces began raiding a number of villages in the Gome District on August 24th, 2019 in pursuit of the West Papuan National Liberation Army (TPNPB), who are led by Goliath and Anton Tabuni. The raid immediately caused 800 civilians to flee to Yenggernok village, also in the Gome District.

One Gome District resident who asked not to be identified for safety reasons stated that the number of refugees has now increased to around 1500 people. “Right now there are around 1500 people who are displaced. They have come from many villages in Gome,” he stated to a reporter from Tabloid Jubi via cell phone.

Based on his observations, the displaced people come from Misimaga, Agiyome, Gome, Kelaungin, Ninggabuma, Tegelobak, Upage, Wako and Yonggolawi villages. Some of the refugees are being housed in makeshift tents set up in the courtyard of the Indonesian Gospel Camp Church (GKII) in Yenggernok village. Others are being housed by the Samaria Church, and are scattered among the homes of 17 residents in Yenggernok.

One of the refugees, Mama Waker, stated that over the last few days the food supplies for the refugees have begun running low. “We want to take food from the gardens, but it is difficult because the security forces are occupying the community gardens. We are being forced to wait for food assistance from the government,” they said.

One of the refugee volunteers in Yenggernok, Torius Tabuni, said that since the raids by security forces began on August 24th, 2019, he had received information regarding the deaths of four civilians in Gome. A resident named Ginobinok Tabuni (60) died after being trapped in a burning home on Saturday, August 24th, 2019. His family buried them the next day.

Minanggen Wakerkwa (60) died on Monday, August 26th, 2019, while fleeing through the forest and was buried by his family. A high school student named Yul Magai (18) died from gunshot wounds. “High school students going to school not wearing uniforms are being shot at. He died on August 28th, 2019. An elderly woman whose name is unknown died of natural causes at the refugee camp on August 31st due to age and illness,” stated Torius Tabuni.


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