Jayapura, Jubi – Tensions that occurred after the shooting that killed eight telecommunication workers of PT Palapa Timur Telematika on March 2, 2022, has made the residents of Tinggilibet Village and Dambet Village in Beoga District, Puncak Regency, flee their villages. Most of them fled to YPPGI Elementary School in Milawak Village, the capital of Beoga.
Chairman of the Puncak Regional Legislative Council (DPRD) Lukius Newegalen confirmed the news about the Tinggilibet and Dambet residents who fled to Milawak. Newegalen said residents had started evacuating to Milawak on March 4, 2022. He said that some displaced people also took shelter at the Beoga District Office in Milawak.
“It’s true, the people have evacuated to the Beoga District Office since March 4. We have not been able to confirm the number of residents who fled to Milawak,” he told Jubi via Whatsapp on Wednesday, March 16, 2022.
“They fled following the shooting between the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) and the Indonesian Military (TNI) and police in Beoga. Moreover, the security forces have also built a military post in their village. The people fear another attack so they try to protect themselves by evacuating,” Newegalen added.
Puncak resident and student activist Pentan Wanimbo said that cases of internally displaced people kept repeating in Puncak whenever there was an escalation of armed conflict in Papua.
He said that until now, the Puncak Regency Administration had not taken the displaced people seriously. “Displaced people in Puncak Regency are scattered in several places. They fled without getting any attention from the local government. The government must take this case seriously,” said Wanimbo. (*)
Reporter: Hengky Yeimo
Editor: Aryo Wisanggeni G