Jayapura, Jubi – The West Papua National Liberation Army-Free Papua Organization (TPNPB-OPM) has said it will not call a truce nor engage in a dialogue with the Indonesian government unless the United Nations (UN) acts as a mediator and the dialogue is favorable to the Papuan people.
“TPNPB-OPM will not have a dialogue with ‘Jakarta’ if it is not mediated by the UN,” said TPNPB-OPM spokesperson Sebby Sambom on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, responding to the call from 194 Catholic priests in Papua for a ceasefire between the armed group and the security forces.
Sambom also said his party was not willing to take a “humanitarian break” if the Indonesian government had not shown good intentions to the Papuan people and was still shooting civilians dead.
“We hope that the Indonesian government under the leadership of President Joko Widodo is willing to open up and negotiate with Papuan negotiators. We are ready to negotiate with ‘Jakarta’, with a mediator from the United Nations,” he said.
Sambom said the TPNPB-OPM was willing to stop the war and bring about peace if both representatives reached an agreement. However, he said, his party would resume war if no agreement was reached between the Indonesian government and the Papuan people.
“The TPNPB will not stop the war. We will call a truce when the Papuan negotiators are negotiating with the enemy under the supervision of the United Nations. If negotiations fail, however, the war will resume,” he said.
Previously, commander of the Cenderawasih Military Regional Command Maj. Gen. Ignatius Yogo Triyono supported a dialogue approach to resolve the conflict in Papua. The government has been using a military approach so far.
He supported dialogue to take place because the armed conflict in Papua continued to escalate in recent months, not only in Nduga, Intan Jaya, and Puncak but also in Pegunungan Bintang and Maybrat in West Papua.
“We too are tired of continuously shooting. The victims are not just from the armed group. Our troops also fall victims,” said Triyono in an interview with Tempo Magazine. He also agreed that the root cause of Papua’s problem was not security but welfare. (*)
Reporter: Benny Mawel
Editor: Syam Terrajana