Human rights observers have expressed concerns regarding a series of security force raids in the Gome District, Puncak Regency, on 15 August 2023. The raids occurred in response to armed clashes re-erupting in the Ilaga District on 12 August 2023. The raids were reportedly accompanied by armed clashes between security forces and the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) in the Gome District between 09:00 am and 01:30 pm, plunging the regency into chaos and fear.
According to information received, joint security forces raided the villages Gome, Kisigame, and Guruwundegim, all located in the Gome District. Security personnel indiscriminately searched houses and released shots. In the villages Misimaga, Gome, Upaga, and Tegelobak, security force members reportedly set residential houses on fire, leaving the communities grappling with material losses (see photos below, source: WPCC).
Security force personnel allegedly killed three indigenous Papuan men: 21-year-old Meton Magay, 20-year-old Mr Derminus Waker, and 32-year-old Mr. Wanimbo. The extent of material and property damage remains uncertain. Fear prevails, preventing affected residents in Puncak from moving freely and working in their gardens. Many have reportedly fled their homes and are afraid to return to their villages.
The situation underscores the urgent need for national and international intervention to facilitate a peaceful resolution to the conflict and provide humanitarian access to more than 60,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) across West Papua. Some IDPs have been displaced since December 2018 with the significant aggravation of armed clashes in the Nduga Regency, Papua Pegunungan Province. The cycle of violence perpetuated by the deployment of more security forces to West Papua fails to address the root causes of the long-lasting conflict but also inflicts further harm upon the civilian population in conflict areas.
Similar raids recently occurred in the Intan Jaya Regency in April 2023. Local observers claim that security forces set at least 29 residential houses and a church in the villages of Munimai and Danggoa on fire. The security force members allegedly executed four indigenous Papuans during the raids. Military spokespersons have denied these allegations, saying the TPNPB members were responsible for destroying the residential houses.
Smoke rising from villages in the Gome District during the security force raid on 15 August 2023
Detailed Case Data
name of the location: Gome, exact loc. unknown (-3.6030428278677977, 137.3019061211258)
administrative region: Indonesia, Papua Tengah Province, Puncak Regency, Home District
total number of victims: three
period of incident: 15.08.2023
perpetrator: other security forces
perpetrator details: unknown
Issues: extra-judicial killings, indigenous peoples
Further HRM News:
|Number||Name, Details||Gender||Age||Group Affiliation||Violations|
|1||Meton Magay,||male||21||indigenous, activist||execution|
|1||Derminus Waker||male||20||indigenous, activist||execution|