UNCONFIRMED REPORTS: INDONESIAN ARMY LAUNCHES SIMULTANEOUS, MASSIVE OFFENSIVES AGAINST WEST PAPUAN ARMED FIGHTERS.
UNCONFIRMED reports have been provided to West Papua Media detailing simultaneous and massive Indonesian military offensives that have been launched against National Liberation Army/Free Papua Movement (TPN/OPM) armed struggle guerrilla units in Puncak Jaya and Paniai districts, just two days after security forces were restrained by international attention and nonviolent movement discipline from taking threatened brutal crackdown actions on peaceful flagraisers.
In Puncak Jaya – in the sub-district of Tingginambut – reports to West Papua Media from credible sources have claimed that at least one full battalion of Kostrad soldiers (1500 combat soldiers), plus two companies of Kopassus special forces who were deployed to Yakuhimo and Wamena ahead of the December 1 demonstrations and flagraisings, were launching a full-scale military assault on villages in the highlands. Local human rights sources have also claimed heavy weaponry, artillery, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft are being used in the assault, greatly increasing the risk for civilian casualties to occur.
Significant exchanges of fire have been reported from Tabuni’s forces, and according to unconfirmed reports, casualties have been sustained on both sides.
The villages around Tingginambut have been subject to regular and ongoing full-scale military punishments and raids in the hunt for the TPN forces of Goliat Tabuni, who has carried out regular attacks against Indonesia security forces personnel.
The reported offensive comes after video was released showing Tingginambut hosted a ceremony raising the banned Morning Star on December 1 attended by over a thousand local people. Local human rights sources have claimed via SMS that a major offensive against Tabuni had been prepared for several weeks, but that TNI were waiting for a mass act of civil nonviolent resistance to occur in order to extend an offensive against civilians in villages that are sympathetic to the Free Papua guerrillas.
Meanwhile, In the Paniai district to the west of Puncak Jaya, reports are also filtering out that a simultaneous assault is occurring on the Paniai/Enarotali TPN/OPM units of Jhon Yogi. Local sources in Paniai have indicated that a mixed battalion of Army and paramilitary police Brimob troops are currently trading heavy gunfire with Yogi’s forces. No information is available on the amount or nature of casualties at this stage, however the assault is taking place in a populated area of farmers gardens.
Further updates to come.
Any journalists or human rights monitors that can assist in making enquiries into these reports would be providing a critical service. Please contact west papua media at firstname.lastname@example.org or +61450079106 if you get any updates. This is a developing story.