Firefight between security forces and TPNPB in Intan Jaya result in death of minor, one in coma

Tragedy struck during a funeral gathering in the Yokatapa Village, Sugapa District, Intan Jaya Regency, Papua Tengah Province, on 8 April 2024, resulting in the death of thirteen-year-old Ronaldus Duwitau. Six-year-old Nepina Duwitau sustained multiple bullet wounds on the hand and the head (see photos below, source: independent HRDs). She is currently in a coma.

The incident unfolded during a firefight between security forces and members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) around 2:00 pm local time (see videos below, source: independent HRDs). The gunshots reportedly rang out from the nearby Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) posts located next to Bank Papua Sugapa (see map below, source: Suara Papua), raising concerns that security force members released the deadly shots. Initially seeking refuge inside the house, the two victims, along with other mourners, found themselves in the line of fire.

According to witness testimonies, the children and attendees sought shelter inside a house at the funeral sight following the eruption of gunfire. Bullets pierced the walls of the house, fatally striking Ronaldus Duwitau in the head and causing injuries to Nepina’s left hand and head. The authorities had previously been informed about the funeral and knew people had gathered there. Following the shooting, the Sugapa district chief and security personnel transported Nepina to a hospital for urgent medical care, while Ronaldus was laid to rest at the funeral site.

The aftermath saw conflicting narratives emerge, with authorities characterizing the incident as a consequence of crossfire between security forces and the TPNPB members. Meanwhile, eyewitnesses and local sources attributed the tragedy to indiscriminate gunfire by security forces directed at the funeral sight.


The incident underscores the urgent need for impartial inquiry and justice in West Papua, given that similar incidents recently occurred.

On 1 March 2024, seventeen-year-old Nelson Sani was shot dead during an armed clash between the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) and members of the Raider 330 military command in the Mamba Village, Sugapa District of Intan Jaya Regency.

On 28 February 2024, Yonif 330 military members shot two indigenous Papuans, Selli Maiseni, 17, and Mr Mikalon Yoani, 26, in Mamba Village, Sugapa District, Intan Jaya Regency.

On 21 January 2024, security force members shot dead Mr Yusak Sondegau, 38, in front of his house in the Jalai Village, Intan Jaya Regency. Security force personnel killed 23-year-old Mr Melkias Nambagani near the Bilogai Village on 23 January 2024.

Site of the crime

Videos showing the firefight in Sugapa on 8 April 2024

Relatives arriving at the General Hospital in Sugapa shortly after the incident

Ronaldus Duwitau, 13 years

Nepina Duwitau, 6 years

Detailed Case Data
name of the location: Yokatapa (-3.749122117419156, 137.00612025462755)
administrative region: Indonesia, Papua Tengah Province, Intan Jaya Regency, Sugapa District
total number of victims: two
period of incident: 08.04.2024
perpetrator: other security forces
perpetrator details: unknown
Issues: execution, torture, ill-treatment, indigenous peoples
Further HRM News:

NumberName, DetailsGenderAgeGroup AffiliationViolations
1Ronaldus Duwitaumale13indigenousexecution
1Nepina Duwitaufemale6indigenousill-treatment