KOmnas HAM Papua
Komnas HAM office in Jakarta - Supplied

Indonesian rights body struggles to verify facts in Papua’s conflict zones


Jayapura, Jubi – The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) finds it difficult to verify facts in conflict zones in Papua.


Head of the Komnas HAM Papua Frits Ramandey mentioned that recently his party received information that a number of villagers in Beoga District, Puncak Regency had fled their hometowns due to armed conflict between the Indonesia Military (TNI) and police and the West National Liberation Army (TPNPB). However, he said, the Komnas HAM Papua struggled to verify the information.


“We received the information [about Beoga refugees] but failed to verify them,” Ramandey told Jubi on Thursday, May 27, 2021.



Among the obstacles to verify information in conflict zones are geographical conditions, poor communication infrastructure, and lack of financial support.


Ramandey said that the Komnas HAM must establish good communication in conflict-prone areas with all parties including the people, the local governments, security forces, and armed groups.


“But we have difficulty communicating with armed groups [the TPNPB]. When we talk to a certain group in one area, the groups in other areas do not automatically receive [the message],”


Meanwhile, director of the Democratic Alliance for Papua (AIDP) Latifah Anum Siregar said that the escalated armed conflict in Papua had prompted people to flee in fear. Many civilians have become victims of both sides of conflicting parties as they are suspected as enemy spies.


The AIDP urged the government and security forces to clarify the military operation in Papua. The Indonesian government previously said it was conducting a “law enforcement operation” in Papua and then sending hundreds of troops to Papua, following President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s order to capture all members of the TPNPB.


Siregar said that in the context of law enforcement operations, the alleged perpetrator should be arrested and prosecuted. However, Siregar said, the intention of the military operation in Papua was unclear while more civilians fell victims. “The government only provides a single narrative whenever violence erupts,” she said.


Reporter: Arjuna Pademme

Editor: Edho Sinaga

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