Security personnel challenged to secure Papua’s PON National Games

Papua Province braces for the convening of PON National Games in October this year in the midst of security threats posed by armed Papuan criminals in several districts.

Over these past four months, Papua has borne the brunt of a string of violent attacks by the armed groups targeting civilians in such districts as Puncak and Intan Jaya.

The armed groups often employ hit-and-run tactics against Indonesian security personnel, while they unleash acts of terror against civilians to instill a sense of fear among the people.

Among the victims of their acts of terror are motorcycle taxi (ojek) drivers, teachers, students, and street food vendors. They also attack civilian aircraft.

On January 6, 2021, for instance, some 10 armed Papuans vandalized and torched a Quest Kodiak aircraft belonging to the Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) at the Pagamba Village airstrip.

They continued their campaign of terror by shooting a 32-year-old man at close range in Bilogai Village, Sugapa Sub-district, on February 8, 2021.

The victim, identified by his initials as RNR, sustained gunshot wounds on the face and right shoulder and was taken to the Timika Public Hospital in Mimika District on February 9.

On February 9, 2021, six armed Papuans fatally stabbed a motorcycle taxi (ojek) driver.

On April 8, 2021, several armed Papuan rebels reportedly opened fire at a kiosk in Julukoma Village, Beoga Sub-district, Puncak District, at about 9:30 a.m. local time.

The shooting resulted in the death of a Beoga public elementary school teacher, Oktovianus Rayo.

After killing Rayo, the armed attackers torched three classrooms at the Beoga public senior high school.

On April 9, 2021, armed rebels reportedly shot another teacher, Yonatan Randen, on the chest.

Several villagers tried to save the junior high school teacher and rushed him to the Beoga public health center, but he succumbed to his injuries.

The armed criminals operating in Beoga Sub-district seem unsatisfied with the killings. On April 11, 2021, the armed criminals set ablaze nine classrooms at the Beoga public junior high school.

Four days after burning the school building down, the armed criminals killed Ali Mom, a student of the Ilaga public senior high school in Beoga Sub-district.

In response to the killing of Ali Mom, Elminus Mom, father of this slain senior high school student, was vociferous in castigating the armed criminals, labelling them as terrorists, over the fatal assault on his son.

He demanded that those behind the killing of his son, Ali Mom, be brought to book since the armed Papuan criminals operating in Beoga Sub-district that killed his son had, in fact, committed a crime against humanity.

Elminus lost his son, after he was shot and attacked with machetes. The teenager consequently died in the deadly attack. Elminus asserted that he would continue his fight for justice.

“I will go to Timika (in Mimika District) to voice a demand for justice to the international communities,” Elminus remarked, adding that the armed criminals were human rights violators.

He called them terrorists owing to their inhuman actions against innocent civilians in Papua.

“For what and whom they struggle? Is it for freedom or for making innocent civilians fall victim?” he questioned.

The string of armed Papuan criminal groups’ deadly attacks on civilians have been so obvious over the past few years but the Indonesian authorities still regard them as criminals instead of terrorists.

Indeed, one day before Ali Mom’s death, the armed Papuan criminals again gunned down an ojek driver named Udin in the Eromaga neighborhood of Omikia Sub-district, Puncak District.

Udin suffered grave gunshot wounds on his right chest, and the bullet pierced his back and left cheek.

Apart from the string of these deadly attacks, top brass of Indonesia’s National Police highlighted that Papua remains conducive ahead of the province’s PON National Games to be convened in October this year.

“The national games will be held as scheduled,” National Police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Rusdi Hartono stated in Jakarta on Tuesday (April 20, 2021).

Hartono noted that armed Papuan criminals continue to disrupt law and security in several areas, but the police and army personnel had ably handled their acts of violence.

The security personnel stationed in Papua, including those from the Nemangkawi Task Force, strive to maintain security to ensure that conditions in the province remain conducive, he remarked.

The Indonesian Defence Forces and National Police are readying a security plan to ensure that the Papua PON National Games that will be participated in by selected athletes and officials from all over Indonesia are held as scheduled from Oct 2 to Oct 15, 2021.

The Indonesian police and TNI personnel stationed in Papua will never retreat even a single step in enforcing the law against the notorious armed criminals in their endeavors to make the convening of Papua PON National Games successful.

 

Source: Antara News

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