Four students injured and one arrested by police during conflict between the Me and Moni tribes in Nabire

Reports indicate that the police injured four students during a horizontal tribal conflict in Nabire, Papua Tengah Province on 27 April 2024. One student was temporarily detained without a warrant or being involved in a criminal act. The police forcefully intervened to disperse the clash. The reasons behind the unrest remain unclear. Reports indicated that the conflict arose from an argument between individuals of the Me tribe and the Moni tribe. Several students tried to mediate between the conflict parties to de-escalate the situation. However, police officers allegedly ill-treated the students, risking a further escalation of the horizontal conflict.

Police arrested 20-year-old Emanuel Douw. Reports suggest that his arrest and subsequent detention at the Nabire Police Station were arbitrary, without showing a warrant. Besides, 19-year-old student Yosia Sani was hit on the chest and right thigh, 20-year-old Gren Iyai was hit on the left cheek resulting in a bleeding nose, 22-year-old Kristianus Mote was hit on the head and back, and female 23-year-old student Aten Tigai suffered an injury behind the ear (see photos below, source: independent HRDs).

The police intervention failed to resolve the conflict. The dispute was later settled with the intervention of church leaders, specifically Pastor Yance Yogi, and the participation of Me and Moni tribal chiefs, as well as students.