Asia Pacific Report newsdesk
The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) claims that an attack on a military post in Maybrat regency earlier this month is being used as a pretext to “force the KNPB into a corner” and to criminalise them, reports Suara Papua.
The September 2 attack on Kisor sub-district military post in Maybrat regency, West Papua province, killed four soldiers.
“There are vested interests and a plot by certain parties behind the killing for four TNI [Indonesian military] members at Kisor, Maybrat,” claimed KNPB spokesperson Ones Suhuniap in a statement sent to Suara Papua newspaper.
“First multinational palm oil companies, which are currently challenging [the cancellation of] permits in the western Birds Head region,” he said.
“Second, the construction of [new] Koramil [sub-district military commands] in several districts in South Sorong and Maybrat regencies.
“Third, the additional deployment of troops on the grounds of securing the PON XX Papua [20th Papua National Games].”
Suhuniap said the incident was a plot and a trap which had been arranged to distract public attention from a challenge by four palm oil companies with the Jayapura State Administrative Court (PTUN) against Sorong Regent Jhony Kamuru’s decision to revoke their permits.
Legalising Trans-Papua Highway posts
The “plot” was also to legalise and accelerate the construction of sub-district military posts and TNI and Indonesian police posts on the Trans-Papua highway connecting Manokwari and Sorong.
Suhuniap said that for the KNPB such a plot was nothing new and these methods were often used in Papua, especially against the KNPB.
As has been reported, the police claimed that a member of the civil society KNPB was involved in the attack, namely the movement’s chairperson in the Kisor sector.
However, what their alleged motive was and why they were involved, along with who the mastermind was behind the 19 people declared responsible for the attack had not been cited by the police.
Suhuniap said that if there were KNPB Maybrat members involved then there was a third party which provoked or trapped them into it and so it was necessary to discover the mastermind and what their interests were.
The KNPB did not kill or act in a hostile way towards other people, including the TNI and police, Suhuniap said.
“There is no agenda of murder directed against the authorities or special organisational instruction to attack members of the TNI and Indonesian police,” he said.
“So the police must delve into and investigate this case further. Who was the mastermind behind the attack? Don’t criminalise the KNPB.” he said.
If the investigation found that KNPB members were proven to have been involved in the attack then their actions were taken as individuals, not the organisation.
“We as an organisation [the KNPB] have never carried out sabotage or urban guerrilla actions,” he said.
Suhuniap also said the attack was part of an Indonesian effort to counter public demands from within Papua and internationally for the release of KNPB international spokesperson Victor Yeimo.
“The state is shaping public opinion to distract the Papuan people’s attention from Victor Yeimo’s release and creating a sense of fear,” he said.
“Indonesian colonialism through its intelligence [services] are shaping public opinion and distracting the Papuan people’s attention by accusing the KNPB of being involved in the attack on the soldiers in Kisor.
“We believe that this effort to distract public attention is a cheap sort of intelligence propaganda to destroy and criminalise the KNPB.”
Suhuniap called on colleagues from West Papua’s 112 resistance movement organisations and all Papuan people to remain solid and not be influenced by the manipulation of public opinion.
“The Papuan people must be consistent in rejecting the extension of special autonomy, the unconditional release of Victor Yeimo and demanding the right to self-determination,” he said.
Translated by James Balowski for IndoLeft News. The original title of the article was “KNPB Sebut Empat Skenario Pembunuhan Empat Anggota TNI di Kisor”.
This content originally appeared on Asia Pacific Report and was authored by APR editor.