TERASMALUKU.COM, Jayapura, Papua,- More troops would be requested for areas in Puncak District in response to the ongoing campaign by armed Papuan separatist groups to kill innocent civilians, District Head Willem Wandik said.
“I will call for more troops to respond to the shootings of civilians,” he told ANTARA here Tuesday.
In addition to more troops, the local authorities also kept communication lines open with various parties, including those from the armed separatist groups, to convince them to stop attacking civilians, Wandik said.
Maintaining the communication channels with the local community and religious leaders was also needed as part of the district government’s endeavor to create peace for all, he said.
Asked about the wish of several community members to take refuge due to security reasons, Wandik said the residents need to remain calm because security personnel have been attempting to protect them.
Over the past few weeks, the armed Papuan rebels have been publicizing their acts of violence.
On September 17, in a gun battle between Indonesian troops and armed Papuan separatists in Olenki Village, Mabugi Subdistrict, Puncak District, Papua Province, three civilians were killed and five others wounded.
Four of the five villagers who suffered gunshot wounds were identified as Topina Mom (36), Tabuni (37), Herina Kinal (32), and Yefrina Mom (16) while the other was a man who sustained injuries to his right leg.
In connection with the firing in Olenki village, the armed rebels often use villagers as human shields, Puncak District Head Willem Wandik said earlier.
Three civilians were killed in the firing. They are Tekiman Wonda (33) and two infants who have been identified as Edison Mom and Rudi Mom.
The Papuan separatists have become a tangible threat to both Indonesian security personnel and innocent civilians because they have continued to target the latter.
On September 26, an armed Papuan separatist group gunned down two motorcycle taxi (Ojek) drivers near the Muara suspension bridge in Amnunggi Village, Ilaga Sub-district, Puncak, Papua.
The two Ojek drivers, identified as La Ode Alwi and Midung, were gunned down by the rebels while passing by the area at around 12:30 p.m. local time, the Papua provincial police spokesman, Sen. Coms. Ahmad Kamal said.
In the past year, the separatists have not only conducted a spate of killings of civilians and security personnel but they have also been involved in other grave crimes, including holding civilians hostage and raping their victims. (INE)