Jayapura, 18/3 (Jubi) – Police’s claims that armed tribesmen were directing their weapons towards officers during tribal clashes between who were in conflict in Timika were false, a human rights activist said.
Police officers trying to calm the conflict between members of the Moni and Dani tribes killed two people on March 12.
But Markus Haluk, a Papuan human rights activist, denied the police’s version of the incident that killed Rev. Ekpinus Tugume Magal and Joen Wandagau.
“The late Rev. Ekpinus Magal was a head division for human rights at Yahamak. He was shot when doing his job to gather data in the conflict area,” said Haluk told Jubi on Tuesday (18/3).
He said after the clashes stopped, the victim stood at a distance from the scene to gather some information and take photographs.
“But then the officer opened fire and he was shot in his chest, killing him instantly. The police’s claims that he resisted security forces were not true. The people who were in the conflict did not attack or point their arrows to the police either,” he said.
The director of Yahamak (Human Right and Non Violence Foundation), Yosepa Alomang, said police had not made any attempt to arrest the shooters, even though the two victims were not involved in the conflict.
“We urge the Police Chief of Papua to immediately arrest and put the perpetrators of the shooting of Rev. Ekpinus Tugume Magal and Joen Wandagau in justice,” said Alomang.
Papuan Police Chief Inspector General Tito Karnavian told to Jubi that officers were forced to shoot the two victims in self-defense.
“I firmly said that the act of Brimob (mobile brigade police unit) at that time was not revenge, but it was self defense, because they were attacked by the warring people. The attack injured a member of Brimob by arrow in his neck,” he said on Wednesday (12/3).
To solve the conflict between the Moni, Mee, Amungme and Dani-Damal tribes, Alomang urged the governor to facilitate reconciliation between all parties involved.
“Because the warlords don’t believe in local leaders, nor the regent, the Chief Police, the Chief Military Region or legislators of Mimika Regency. They only believe in the governor of Papua,” she said.
She added that the government needs to protect the status of landowners in the land of Amungsa-Kamoro and identify tribes that own and use the land. ( Jubi / Victor Mambor/rom )