Wenda attributes nurse’s death to Indonesian military crackdown over Papuan mining and palm oil
Asia-Pacific Report Press Office
The United West Papua Liberation Movement blamed the Indonesian military for the attack on a hospital in Kiwirok, near the border with Papua New Guinea, in which a nurse was killed.
ULMWP Interim President Benny Wenda issued a statement in response to Indonesian authorities’ accusations against the West Papua military, saying the upsurge in violence is due to the militarization of the region to protect businesses and to a political directive to “destroy them”. of Jakarta against resistance from West Papua.
Indonesia has accused the West Papua army of attacking the hospital and killing nurse Gabriella Meliani in Kiwirok.
But Wenda claimed, according to sources he spoke to, that the clash was sparked by an Indonesian migrant doctor threatening people with a gun.
“This sparked an investigation by the West Papua Army. A nurse fled from the scene and fell down a slope, fatally injuring herself, ”Wenda said.
Indonesia has deployed more than 21,000 new troops since December 2018, displacing tens of thousands of civilians from Nduga, Intan Jaya, Puncak Jaya and Sorong.
Do not protect the Papuans
“These troops are not here to defend Indonesia’s ‘sovereignty’ or ensure the safety of my people; they are there to protect illegal mining operations, to defend the oil palm plantations that are destroying our rainforest and to help build the Trans-Papua Highway that will be used for Indonesian business – not for the people of West Papua, ”said Wenda.
“The Indonesian government is creating violence and chaos to feed these troops. As the head of the Indonesian Parliament, Bambang Soesatyo, ordered, “destroy them first”. We will discuss human rights issues later.
“He reiterated this statement [on Monday], and was supported by the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud Md. “
The murder of Pastor Yeremia Zanambani and his two brothers in April of last year is an example of how this policy has worked.
“Indonesian soldiers murdered the two brothers in April of last year. Months later, the troops tortured and killed the pastor, ”Wenda said.
Indonesian soldiers to blame
“In both cases, the military blamed the West Papua military for the attacks – but Indonesia’s own human rights commission and military courts ruled that the Indonesian soldiers were to blame. A similar pattern will unfold with the events of Kiwirok. “
Wenda said Indonesia must allow the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in West Papua to investigate this violence and produce an independent, fact-based report, as urged by 84 states international.
“Indonesia’s ban on media, human rights groups and aid agencies entering West Papua must be lifted immediately. If Indonesia is telling the truth about these events, why continue to hide West Papua from the world? “, did he declare.
“This war will never end until President Widodo sits down with me to resolve this issue. It’s not about ‘development’, how many bridges and roads are built.
“It’s about our sovereignty, our right to self-determination – our survival.”