Jayapura, Jubi – Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Mathius Fakhiri has confirmed that the Nabire Police’s internal affairs division (Propam) is questioning Chief Brig. HW, a police member detained for allegedly smuggling ammunition to Intan Jaya Regency to supply the armed group.
“It is true, the Propam is conducting an examination related to the findings of 21 rounds of ammunition carried by Chief Brig. HW,” Fakhiri told news agency Antara on Monday, April 19, 2021.
According to Fakhiri, HW was formerly a member of Biak Numfor Police and recently got posted at the Intan Jaya Police.
Fakhiri said his party was still waiting for the investigation result, hoping that it was not a case of desertion of a police member to Papuan armed groups.
Earlier this year, the Indonesian Military (TNI) has named soldier First Pvt. Lukius Y. Matuan a fugitive for desertion. Lukius, previously a member of Yonif Raider 400, was stationed in Intan Jaya from August 2020 to March 2021. He left his squad on Feb. 12, 2021 and allegedly joined the National Liberation Army for West Papua (TPNPB).
TNI spokesman Maj. Gen. Achmad Riad said the military was still chasing Lukius, Kompas reported. “We’re still hunting him. [Lukius] has been officially named a fugitive by [Papua] Regional Military Command,” he said on Monday.
TPNPB spokesperson Sebby Sambom said that desertion of military and police members was not a new thing. “This is not the first time. Many [member of military and police] have joined the TPNPB in the 1970s and 1980s,” Sebby said on Friday, April 16, 2021.
Among the deserter, Sambom said, were Seth Jafet Rumkorem, Elieser Awom, and Surabut. Rumkorem was a West Papuan military officer who chose to defect from the TNI to the Free Papua Movement after witnessing election fraud and human rights abuse conducted by the former, Sambom claimed. He later became the proclamator of the Republic of West Papua on July 1, 1971. Meanwhile, Awom was a police member of Kotaraja’s Mobile Brigade Corps (Brimob) who joined the Papuan group in the 1980s. Surabut from Batalyon 753 Arfai Manokwari followed the step in the 1990s.
Editor: Victor Mambor