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

 

Paniai offensive intensifies - troops conduct house searches

Paniai offensive intensifies as troops conduct house to house searches: reports

September 6, 2012

Unconfirmed reports have been received by West Papua Media from reliable sources in Paniai district, West Papua, that troops from the notorious Indonesian Army (TNI) Battalion 753 Arga Vira Tama (from Nabire, Korem 174 - Kodam XVII/Trikora) are currently conducting major house to house sweeps in the remote hill areas outside Wegamo.

At least three companies of the Battalion 753, a unit linked to ongoing brutal human rights abuses and regular incidents of torture in Paniai, have been parachuted into the the headwaters of the Weya Creek of Bibida district in Wagamo, Paniai, according to credible human rights sources.

Reports are filtering through that the TNI is searching the villages around Weya Creek for the Paniai OPM/TPN leader John Yogi, who has eluded capture after a massive offensive that has displace over 12,000 since it began in November 2011. However, Yogi has not been seen in the area according to local sources, who report that the local civilian population is bearing the brunt of interrogations and abuse from 753.

Witnesses have reported that troops from 753, supported by Indonesian Brimob police units, have been launching aggressive raids in villages since the evening of September 4, detaining and interrogating all villages and destroying property whilst seizing sharp items, including farming tools necessary for subsistence agriculture. This is prompting fears of a repeat of the humanitarian crisis that developed last December when troops from 753 Battalion torched and destroyed food gardens, forcing thousands to flee to police run "care centres" in Enaratoli. During the 2011 campaign, several people died of starvation and sickness in the care centres, whilst security forces attempted to capture Yogi.

It is unclear at this stage whether special forces troops from the Australian funded and trained counter-terror unit Detachment 88 are involved in this action, given their presence in major offensives throughout 2012 in pursuit of Yogi.

Disturbing reports from trusted sources have also emerged from the town of Moanemani, Paniai, of a major influx of combat troops and paramilitary police into the town since the weekend. Fears are being expressed by credible community sources that a major crackdown is expected by security forces, because the military and police are stopping people in the street and ordering them to shave off moustaches and beards.

Local Papuan people traditionally wear facial hair as an assertion of Papuan identity, an act seen as separatist by clean-shaven Indonesian occupation forces. Sources have also reported that civilians have been warned to bathe and wear new and clean clothing ahead of an expected offensive, and that local people are terrified that they are to be suspected and targeted as being OPM members, based purely on their traditional appearance. West Papua Media has been unable to independently verify these reports, however these action are in line with ongoing offensives and abuses by security forces across Paniai regency in recent months.

Moanemani was also the site of a vicious spate of unprovoked killings by Indonesian security forces of civilians early in 2012.

More information as it comes to hand.

Related articles

Dogiyai villagers still in shock after Moanemani incident (westpapuamedia.info)
ELSHAM finds evidence of 749 acts of violence in Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
The Past That Has Not Passed: Human Rights Violations in Papua Before and After Reformasi (westpapuamedia.info)
Etan: Letter to Secretary of State Clinton on West Papua Concerns (netarumtelebe.wordpress.com)

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 



UN: Conflict, COVID, Climate Crisis, Likely To Fuel Acute Food Insecurity In 23 ‘Hunger Hotspots’

Life-saving aid to families on the brink of famine is being cut off in several countries by fighting and blockades, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) said in a new report issued on Friday... More>>


Oxfam: Vaccine Monopolies Make Cost Of Vaccinating The World Against Covid At Least Five Times More Expensive Than It Could Be

The cost of vaccinating the world against COVID-19 could be at least five times cheaper if pharmaceutical companies weren’t profiteering from their monopolies on COVID-19 vaccines, campaigners from the People’s Vaccine Alliance said today...
More>>

Afghanistan: Record Number Of Women And Children Killed Or Wounded

More women and children were killed and wounded in Afghanistan in the first half of 2021 than in the first six months of any year since records began in 2009, a United Nations report revealed on Monday... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs



Food Systems: More Than 100 Countries Discuss Visions For Futures To Accelerate Global Action Ahead Of September Summit

More than 100 countries came together over the course of three-days to discuss how they will transform their national food systems to drive progress against the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030... More>>


Food Systems: Italian & Rwandan Leaders Join Urgent Call To Transform World’s Food Systems As Pre-Summit Begins

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Rwandan President Paul Kagame stress need for more inclusive, sustainable and holistic approaches ahead of the Summit in New York in September... More>>


UN: Play:Fair For People And Planet – A Major United Nations Music Activation
organized by the UN SDG Action Campaign in partnership with Music Innovation Hub, Keychange, the city of Milan, the Milan Triennale, and partners from the SDG Music Network, will be held at an unexpected location in the center of Milan, Italy, taking into account safety measures with a limited on-site audience consisting of activists and fans... More>>