Intan Jaya Fact Investigation Team - Document of Ministry for Law and Security

Intan Jaya conflict (5): A new armed conflict that brings deaths


West Papua No.1 News Portal | Jubi


Jayapura, JubiPapuan Humanity Team on Case of Violence against Religious Figures in Intan Jaya regency, or Humanity Team, has completed the documentation of alleged extrajudicial killings against Protestant pastor Yeremia Zanambani on Sept. 19, 2020. This report documents facts surrounding the killing of Pastor Yeremia.


This report includes analysis of the context of violence in Intan Jaya regency, in particular between Indonesian Military (TNI) and the West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB), which has been happening at the expense of civilians in the regency. This is the fifth from the series published in



On Aug. 1, 2019, the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) held a large meeting, called “Reunification and Declaration of Unity of TPNPB-Free Papua Organization” in Ilaga, Puncak Regency. The meeting in the neighboring regency ushered in a new period of conflict in Intan Jaya.


The meeting had the presence of TPNPB’s Defense Territory Command (Kodap) chiefs that included Ilaga Kodap chief Brig. Gen. Penny Murib and Kemabu Kodap chief Brig. Gen. Ayub Waker. The highest commander of TPNPB Gen. Goliat Tabuni and the General Operation Commander Maj. Gen. Lekagak Telenggen were also present.


Kodap is a TPNPB territorial unit, based on the administrative border of a regency in Papua. Following the High Conference of TPNPB in Biak Numfor from May 1 to 5 in 2012, TPNPB had 33 Kodap across Papua Land.


Read also: Intan Jaya conflict (2): Civilians become victims of TNI-TPNPB war


The meeting in August 2019 was to decide on their response to the formation of the West Papua Army, formed by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULWMP) and West Papua Revolution Army (TRWP) in Vanimo, Papua New Guinea on May 1, 2019.


The August meeting declared that TPNPB rejected West Papua Army. Read by the highest commander’s secretary, Anton Obed Tabuni, the declaration also agreed on continuing the fight in Tembagapura, Mimika Regency, and Nduga Regency.


On their way, a group of TPNPB soldiers traveled to Tembagapura, passing through Intan Jaya, and arrived in Pugisiga, Hitadipa District in Intan Jaya Regency. On Oct. 25, 2019, they held a “bakar batu” ritual in Pugisiga. Bakar batu is Papuan people’s ritual to celebrate or to gather soldiers before a battle. In the ritual, the people would dig a hole in the ground, burn stones, and put layers of burning stones, banana leaves, and food like pork in the hole.


Read also: Intan Jaya conflict (1): Risks of continued violence loom


When they were doing the ritual, three ojek (motorcycle taxi) drivers went past Pugisiga, triggering the soldiers’ anger. The TPNPB soldiers accused the drivers of working as spies for the security personnel. The three drivers were identified as Rizal, Herianto, and La Soni. The TPNPB soldiers then canceled their plan to continue to Tembagapura.


The killing of the three ojek drivers spurred the establishment of a new military command of the Indonesian Military (TNI) in Intan Jaya Regency. Indeed, since 2016, the TNI had added more military commands in Papua Land, marked by the opening of the Military Command XVIII/Kasuari in West Papua province on Dec. 19, 2016. After that, the TNI planned to add more Military District Commands in both Papua and West Papua provinces.


On Sept. 27, 2019, TNI changed its organizational structure by establishing three new large territories across Indonesia, called Kogabwilhan or Joint Defense Territory Command. The change was based on a presidential regulation on the formation of Kogabwilhan.


Read also: Intan Jaya conflict (4): Mountain of gold raises concerns for new problems


Kogabwilhan I, comprising of Sumatra, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, Jakarta, West Java, and Banten is led by Adm. Yudo Margono. Kogabwilhan II, comprising of East Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Central Java, East Java, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, and East Nusa Tenggara, is led by Marshall Fadjar Prasetyo.


Read also: Intan Jaya onflict (3): With new regency, new conflicts arise


The third Kogabwilhan, comprising of Maluku, North Maluku, Papua, and West Papua, is led by Maj. Gen. Ganip Warsito from the Army. Kogabwilhan III is based in Biak.


Indonesia’s Defense White Paper in 2014 mentioned that Kogabwilhan was an integration between the Navy, the Army, and the Air Force. Before Kogabwilhan, territorial commands were fully in the hands of the Army.


On Sept. 29, 2019, Cenderawasih Pos published news on the plan to install four new district commands in Deiyai, Paniai, Puncak, and Intan Jaya regencies.


After the shooting of three ojek drivers in Kampung Pugisiga in Hitadipa, Intan  Jaya, the TNI deployed more and more personnel in the regency. In December, the TNI headquarters sent more personnel who were stationed outside Papua Land to Sugapa District in Intan Jaya. They arrived in Sugapa with helicopters. They were spread out to several areas in Intan Jaya, including to Hitadipa District.


In Hitadipa, a district with only 5,366 population, the TNI set up a preparatory military command, occupying YPPGI Elementary School and Satu Atap Hitadipa Junior High School.


The principal of both schools, Rode Zanambani, said that the classes for 300 students were halted once the TNI occupied the schools. “All of the students, our teachers, did not go to school anymore,” Zanambani said. She said they had asked the TNI not to use the schools as the military command base and to not reside in Hitadipa. If you want to build a military command, why should you establish one in a school building?


Reporter: Victor Mambor

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