World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Naming of Kopassus Officer as Military Commander

WPAT and ETAN on Naming of Senior Kopassus Officer as Indonesia Military Commander in West Papua

The West Papua Advocacy Team and East Timor and Indonesia Action Network are extremely troubled by the naming of a senior Special Forces (Kopassus) officer as regional commander in West Papua. Kopassus forces have a long and dark history in the region.

The appointment of Major General Hotma Marbun to the Military Command for the Kodam-XVII Cenderawasih region comes as Papuans continue to seek a dialogue with the Jakarta Government and the demilitarization of their homeland. Their appeals have been resisted by a military that persists in describing Papuans seeking their rights as "separatists" and justifies attacks on peaceful demonstrators as necessary to defending Indonesia's territorial integrity.

The naming of any Kopassus officer in command of the region raises obvious human rights concerns. In addition, Major General Marbun has a personal record that underscores these concerns. As pointed out by the respected UK human rights organization Tapol, Marbun was involved in operations in Indonesia-occupied East Timor in 1983 and 1986, a particularly bloody period during the occupation. He also participated in military operations in West Papua in 1982 and 1994.

General Marbun takes command at a time of growing security force abuse in the region, as recently documented by Human Rights Watch. Indonesian human rights organizations including the Papuan branch of the Indonesian government's official Human Rights Commission (Komnas Ham) recently voiced public support for the withdrawal of military forces from West Papua to improve prospects for dialogue.

Kopassus actions in West Papua include "sweeping operations" purportedly in pursuit of "separatists" that in fact targeted highland Papuan villagers and the torture/murder of the leading Papuan political figure Theys Eluay. The deeply flawed Indonesian justice system notoriously has chronically failed to hold accountable Kopassus and other Indonesian security forces responsible for criminality and human rights violations.

For decades, the U.S. military provided training and other assistance to Kopassus notwithstanding its widely acknowledged abuses and criminal activity. Despite the demonstrated failure of international assistance to improve its behavior, the Obama administration is reportedly considering resuming such assistance, terminated under Congressional pressure more than a decade ago.

Papuans are increasingly marginalized in their homeland, as tensions grow between Papuans and migrants, and Papuan demands for an internationally mediated dialogue with Jakarta and for the demilitarization of West Papua go unanswered In this context, the appointment of a commander from the Indonesian military's hard line Kopassus is profoundly disturbing.

ETAN was formed in 1991 to advocate for self-determination for occupied East Timor. The U.S.-based organization continues to advocate for democracy, justice and human rights for Timor-Leste and Indonesia. For more information, see ETAN's web site: http://www.etan.org. The West Papua Advocacy Team produces the monthly West Papua Report.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN: Ban Ki-Moon Condemns Texas Shooting

4 May 2015 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned yesterday’s shooting in Texas that injured a law enforcement officer, reiterating that such criminal acts have nothing to do with religion or belief. More>>

Release Of 200 Nigerian Girls Held Captive By Boko Haram

UN envoy Gordon Brown welcomes release of 200 Nigerian girls held captive by Boko Haram More>>

Ban Calls For Immediate End To Hostilities In Northern Mali

Chadian UN peacekeepers heading to their base in Tessalit, northern Mali. Photo MINUSMA/Marco Dormino More>>

New UN Special Envoy On Ebola Response Visit To Sierra Leone

29 April 2015 – The United Nations World Health Organization ( WHO ) today said that surveillance and community engagement still require improvement in some areas of Guinea and Sierra Leone where new cases continued to surface, a day after the ... More>>

Somalia Registers Record Export Of Livestock In 2014

Somalia registers record export of livestock in 2014 due to trade boost with Gulf States More>>


United States: Riots In Baltimore – National Guard Sent In [graphic Images]

Riots have broken out in Baltimore following the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25 year old black man who died from injuries sustained while in police custody. More>>

West Papua: “Lest We Forget”

AS Anzac approaches and Australians and New Zealanders remember those who fought and lost their lives on Anzac Day, it is hoped we will also remember the unfree people of the Pacific region and in particular those who are still suffering from human ... More>>

Iran: 81 Executions In One Week

Coincident with mass executions in the prisons of Ghezel-Hessar, Karaj and other cities, the anti-human regime of mullahs sent 16 other prisoners to the gallows in Mashhad and Birjand (northeastern Iran). Twelve of them were hanged collectively ... More>>

Al-Shabaab: Four Unicef Staff Killed In Somalia

Four UNICEF staff members have been killed in an attack on their vehicle in Garowe, Somalia. Four other UNICEF colleagues are in a serious condition. The IED (improvised explosive device) attack occurred when the staff were travelling from their guest ... More>>

UN: Suicide Attack In Jalalabad Condemned

NEW YORK/KABUL/GENEVA (18April 2015) – “I strongly condemn the brutal suicide attack that coincided with my visit to Jalalabad today,” said United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović during his visit to Afghanistan. ... More>>

Save The Children: STC Urges EU Leaders To Act To Prevent More Mass Drownings

Save the Children Urges EU Leaders to Act to Prevent More Mass Drownings at Sea. More>>

ALSO:

Japan: Independent Experts Slam Japan’s New Whaling Plan

Independent experts slam Japan’s new whaling plan and declare no more whales need to be killed for Antarctic research More>>

Gaza Strip: Attacks In The Border Areas

Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip. The precise area designated by ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news