Benny Giay (left) and Dorman Wandikbo (right) - Jubi

Papua Church Leaders: Gun Buyers are Called Separatists, What About the Sellers?

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Benny Giay (left) and Dorman Wandikbo (right) - Jubi
Benny Giay (left) and Dorman Wandikbo (right) – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – Two church leaders in Papua questioned the military and police’s handling of security personnel who are accused of involvement in gun trading.

“I know where the OPM (Free Papua Movement) is and their weaponry support as well. If I wanted it could be dismissed with one shot,” said the Cenderawasih XVII Military Commander Major General Christian Zebua on 19 September 2014 (see When Military Commander Claims to Know Weapon Suppliers for OPM)

On 8 August 2014, he claimed the OPM Regional VII Commander, Erin Enden Wanimbo stated tense situation in Lanny Jaya, Papua occurred due to the failure of bullets trading with rogue police in that area. “The current condition in Lanny Jaya started from the arrangement of bullets transaction with an officer named Rahman. He wanted to sell 1,000 bullets to us. We agreed to meet in a place,” said a man who claimed himself as Erin Ende Wanimbo to Jubi by phone. (see Bullets Transaction Heat Up Lanny Jaya, Says OPM).

Shortly the Papua Governor Lukas Enembe spoke. He said as long as bullets were continuing to be traded freely in some central highland areas, Papua would never be safe. “I want to question who did supply those bullets? But obviously it is not the institution but persons. I clearly reported it to the president and the Indonesian Military Commander Moeldoko,” Enembe told reporters in Jayapura on 30 November 2014 (see Lukas Enembe: Related to Bullet Trading, I have Reported to President).

Two days before the governor’s statement, the Papua Police Chief Inspector General Yotje Mende removed the Nduga Police Chief following the arrest of bullets trading involved the Nduga police officer Second Brigadier TJ with the armed group in Wamena, Jayawijaya on Sunday, 26 October 2014 (see Police Officer Sell Bullets, Nduga Police Chief Removed).

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Early in February 2015, Cenderawasih XVII Military Regional Command Provost named the Sergeant Major S and First Sergeant MM as suspects of bullets trading with the rebel. The Cenderawasih XVII Military Commander Fransen Siahaan in Jayapura admitted instead of named as suspects, both soldiers also under the process of dismissal. In addition to the two soldiers, three soldiers were also processed for similar case. (see Serma S and Sertu M named Suspects of Bullets Trading). But the First Sergeant M who later identified as First Sergeant Murib was released because he’s not proven involving in trading (see: Military Regional Commander: Sergeant Murib Not Proven Selling Bullets).

Meanwhile two church leaders in Papua, Benny Giay (Chairman of the Evangelical Church Synod) and Dorman Wandikbo (President of the Evangelical Church Synod in Indonesia) in the Public Disscussion held at the House of the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) in Jakarta on Friday (22/5/2015).
“The Indonesian Military is hiding behind this (separatism issue). We must analyze where the term is coming from and who is creating it. From August to November last year, almost every week the Military/Police culprits sold the bullets and guns to OPM. I considered it is the way of Military/Police to maintain the conflict in Papua,” Benny Giay said. He believes there is an attempt of certain parties to maintain separatism to still be existed and growing because it’s already proven that the Military/Police can sell the guns and bullets.

“If those who bought the guns were called as separatists, what about those who sold the guns that are the Military/Police officers?” said the Priest who also the anthropologist. Meanwhile the President of GIDI Synod, the Rev Dorman Wandikbo similarly said the Military/Police are responsible of the guns trading in Papua. “Do not blame the separatism,” Wandikbo sai.

He further said the Military/Police officers are often doing a transaction with a rebel group identified as the Armed Criminal Group (KKB) by the police and they later claimed themselves as OPM. “As often they involved in guns transaction, the Military/Police watched and arrested them. They (KKP) then went to the jail and the Military/Police got promoted. Then the OPM became an object, a scapegoat,” Wandikbo said.

Separately in responding the church leaders’ statement, the Military Spokesperson Major General Fuad Basya stated the Indonesian Military never involved in guns or bullets trading in Papua. “As an institution, the military is not involved,” he said as cited the CNN Indonesia on Friday night (22/5).

He added it is particular culprits who might run the bullets or guns trading. it is occurred in Papua because of the demand. “There are those who need weapons or bullets, and those who need money,” he said.

He firmly said if those culprits were soldiers, they would be punished. “They should be fired. If the Law said the Military Culprit who sell bullets or guns can get dead penalty, we must do it,” he said. (Victor Mambor/rom)

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