Jayapura, 5/4 (Jubi) – The Morning Star flag flew 10 hours before being taken down after a shoot-out on Saturday between security forces and dozens of armed civilians
Hundreds of military and police personnel had been on alert at the border of Indonesia and PNG for an hour after getting information about the flag- raising around 05.30pm (local time). A gunfight erupted between security forces and the armed group before the Morning Star was taken down.
The chief of Staff of Military Command XVII /Cenderawasih Brigadier General Hinsa Siburian said that the armed group’s action was a provocation.
“However, our personnel were disciplined and restrained and did not act blindly,” Siburian stated on Saturday (5/4).
The Jayapura police chief, Alfred Papare, was with some police and military officers monitoring the event in a nearby tower when the group opened fire at the tower, injuring him and a soldier.
“The shot hit the glass window and glass debris hurt the police chief, ” Siburian added.
The security forces have been trying to negotiate so that the group could disperse.
“They deliberately raised the flag at the border, so if they passed the border, we can not chase them,” said Siburian.
Website kodam17cenderawasih.mil.id mentioned that the joint security forces in charge of securing the location are from Muara Tami, Battalion (Infantry Bataliyon) 751/Raider, and border security Battalion 642/Kapuas RI-PNG.
Papua police spokesman Commissioner Sulistyo Pudjo Hartono said the armed group was seeking to disrupt economic ties between Indonesia and Papuan New Guinea.
“This is an extraordinary effort to interfere in government programs,” Sulistyo said on Saturday (5/4).
Three of members of the armed were hit by sniper fire from the Papua Police Special Team but .they were taken to the woods of PNG by their friends, according to security forces.
When there was a gunfire, a man who called himself Danny Wenda contacted Jubi via PNG phone at about 06.30 ( local time).
“Today is Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 5:00 early this morning, the Morning Star and UN flags were hoisted in Wutung, Indonesia – Papua New Guinea border by West Papua Revolutionary Army, under commander of gen. Mathias Wenda [Command Supreme Commander of the Revolutionary Army of West Papua]. The gunfire with the military is ongoing. ” the man who is from highland area and now live in Vanimo informed.
Kodam17cenderawasih.mil.id said the joint military/police patrol was looking for Wenda who they said was fomenting instability ahead of legislative elections in 2014.
Wenda has not showed up in public for the past 2-3 years. (Jubi / Indrayadi/ Tina)