Timika Katedral
Timika Cathedral in Mimika Regency. Photo taken in 2011. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/22Kartika

Timika Catholic Church worries that terrorist label on TPNPB will lead to more civilians death toll


Jayapura, Jubi – The Timika Diocese, whose service area covers conflict zones such as Puncak Regency and Intan Jaya Regency, speaks its concern on recent violent incidents in the area and strongly rejects the labeling of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) as a terrorist group by the Indonesian government, as announced by Coordinating Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD on Thursday, April 29, 2021.


Timika diocese administrator Pastor Marthen Kuayo said he was sad and disappointed with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s recent order to chase all TPNPB members after the death of Papua spy chief Maj. Gen. Anumerta IGP Danny by the group, followed by the announcement that the TPNPB was a terrorist.


“This is going to make things worse. Even before, without a direct order from the president and the labeling of the TPNPB as terrorists, there were already many civilian victims who were shot dead after suspected to be members of the TPNPB,” he said on Sunday.



Kuayo mentioned three Papuans who were allegedly killed at the Intan Jaya Regional Hospital a month ago. He also mentioned the murder of a person with mental disorders named Kuligi Mirip. Mirip was allegedly shot in Ndugusiga, Intan Jaya, by the TNI and police upon reported as a member of the TPNPB.


“Armed violence has been going on in Papua for a long time. In 2018, violence escalated after the incident of violence against bridge workers in Nduga Regency. The violence continues to date, including what happened throughout April 2021 in Puncak Regency,” he said, adding that the situation in Nduga, Intan Jaya, and Puncak has become uncertain due to armed conflict.


Kuayo said many people including Indigenous Papuans and non-Papuans were affected by the conflict. “People are scared, they leave their homes, their jobs, and take refuge. They become victims of both sides, the TNI and Police and the TPNPB,” he said.


Timika Diocese SKP Coordinator Saul Wanimbo added, both the TNI and police and the TPNPB must immediately cease fire and jointly seek a resolution that is more open, dignified, and more humane.


“President Jokowi and the government should evaluate their approach in resolving conflict in Papua. The same approach has been used for a long time and until today, the conflict and violence have not been resolved, even worse than before,” said Wanimbo.


Reporter: Abeth You

Editor: Kristianto Galuwo

You might also like