IDP Update June 2024: Urgent call for humanitarian access to conflict areas

As of June 2024, over 76,919 people in West Papua[1], predominantly indigenous Papuans, remain internally displaced due to the armed conflict in the region. While around two to three thousand people in the Maybrat Regency have reportedly returned home, new internal displacements have occurred. These arose from the assassination of a military member in the Paniai Regency on 11 April 2024 and new outbreaks of armed violence in the Intan Jaya Regency in early May 2024.

Human Rights Monitor has not received updated information on the condition and numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Pegunungan Bintang and Puncak regencies in the past eight months. Many of these IDPs are believed to still reside in towns like Nabire, Wamena, Jayapura and other locations across West Papua. These areas remain extremely isolated from media coverage and human rights reporting due to heavy security force presence and ongoing clashes between security forces and the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB). Information from local informants suggests entire villages and districts have been abandoned, such as Suru-Suru District in Yahukimo Regency. Villagers there continue to live in the forest or have relocated to villages in the neighbouring Asmath Regency. The health and education facilities in Suru-Suru have been devastated by security force members and remain inoperative.

The government continues to disregard the humanitarian crisis in West Papua, leaving IDPs without access to humanitarian assistance from national or international organisations.  


According to information from human rights defenders in Paniai, around 2,600 people from six villages in the districts Agadide and Ekadide, Paniai Regency, Papua Tengah Province, fled their homes following the killing of a military member in Komopa Village, Agadide District, by members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) on 11 April 2024. They feared security raids in response to the killing. The raid reportedly began in the Pasir Putih area on 16 April 2024.

An unknown number of residents fled the Bibida District following armed clashes between security forces and TPNPB fighters on 1 May 2024. The residents reportedly fled to the towns of Madi and Enarotali.

Intan Jaya

Human rights defenders documented new internal displacements in the Homeyo District following armed clashes between TPNPB fighters and security forces in the Pogapa Village between 30 April and 5 May 2024. These clashes resulted in the deaths of two civilians and the burning down of a school. Residents from Pogapa reportedly sought shelter in the neighbouring Sanepa Village. According to a TNI statement dated 20 May 2024, all IDPs from Homeyo had returned to their homes by 18 May 2024. HRM was unable to verify the information through other sources. 


The situation for refugees in Maybrat Regency, Papua Barat Daya Province, remains dire. There are still 3.387 civilians residing in camps, boarding houses, or with relatives since 2021. These IDPs fled to various areas to escape escalating armed conflict following an attack by the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) on the Kisor Preparation Koramil Post in Maybrat Regency on 2 September 2021. Most originate from villages in the Aifat Timur Jauh, Aifat Timur Tengah, Aifat Timur Selatan, and Aifat Timur districts.

The IDPs face significant hardships, including poor living conditions, limited access to education and healthcare, and minimal employment opportunities. Alarmingly, 138 people have died in camps since 2021, highlighting the severity of the situation. Despite efforts by the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) to advocate for government intervention, the IDPs’ needs have received little attention. They are left to rely on village funds and donations to meet their necessities.

Human rights activists have raised concerns about the forced repatriation of residents from Maybrat through the local government. They allege that the authorities threatened to withhold access to community funds and social services from those who don’t return. IDPs who have returned to their villages have to live under close observation by the police and military, including security checkpoints in all larger villages. While several public educational facilities in Maybrat have reportedly reopened, schools in the villages of Ayata, Faan Kahrio, and Kamat continue to be occupied by military or police personnel, posing additional challenges to those who have decided to return.


There is no updated information available about the situation of IDPs who were internally displaced in the Dekai District, Yahukimo Regency, after security forces burnt their houses during a raid on 21 August 2023. As of May 2024, most IDPs from Suru-Suru have not returned to their villages. Security forces have reportedly destroyed education and health facilities and remain dysfunctional. The military has erected permanent posts in the villages, which discourages IDPs from returning. Soldiers reportedly supply themselves by harvesting from peoples’ gardens. Most of these IDPs reportedly live in shelters they built in the swampy forest bordering Yahukimo and Asmath regencies, exposing them to a high risk of contracting Malaria and other diseases.


As of July 2023, the estimated number of IDPs from Nduga was 56,981. These IDPs are scattered across various towns throughout West Papua. Many have settled in Wamena town, Jayawijaya Regency, Papua Pegunungan Province, where local tribes have allowed them to live and cultivate their land. Most have difficulties accessing healthcare and education services.

An unknown number of IDPs continue to live in temporary shelters within Nduga Regency. According to a TPNPB statement dated 12 April 2024, the IDPs are located in the districts Geselma, Alama, Mebarok, and Alama, while the districts of Yal, Mugi, Mbua, Yigi, Mapenduma, Paro have been abandoned after being designated as combat zones. Raids in Nduga by the end of March and early April 2024 were reportedly accompanied by air raids targeting areas where IDPs had built their shelters. The operation appeared to be part of a larger military operation to free a pilot from New Zealand who a TPNPB group took hostage in February 2023.

 IDPs across West Papua, Indonesia, as of 1 June 2024

RegencyNo IDPsDisplaced sinceAdditional info
Nduga[2]56,9814 Dec. 18IDPs originate from 11 districts in Nduga; more than 615 IDPs reportedly died as of January 2022
Puncak[3]2,72427 Apr. 21at least 16 IDPs have reportedly died during displacement
Intan Jaya[4]5,85926 Oct. 21at least 126 IDPs face health issues, and 11 IDPs reportedly died
Maybrat[5]3.3872 Sep. 21IDPs originated from 5 districts; 138 IDPs reportedly died, and the local Govt reportedly facilitated the return of IDPs since November 2022
Pegunungan Bintang (Kiwirok District) [6]2,25210 Oct. 21about 200 IDPs fled to PNG, 74 IDPs reportedly died, and dozens of IDPs suffered from sickness
Pegunungan Bintang (Serambakon District) [7]9118 Sep. 23ten persons sick, two women pregnant, 47 children among the IDPs
Yahukimo (Suru-Suru District) [8]1,97120 Nov. 21IDPs from 13 villages sought shelter in 15 temporary camps, 16 women gave birth without medical attention, and 13 IDPs reportedly died. 
Yahukimo (Dekai District) [9]55421 Aug. 2313 persons were sick; one died, and two females murdered
Fakfak (Kramongmongga District)[10]50016 Aug. 23N/A
Paniai[11]>2,60012 Apr. 24internal displacements were reported from the districts of Agadide, Ekadide and Bibida
T O T A L> 76,919

[1] The term ‘West Papua’ in this paper refers to the western half of New Guinea Island, composed of the Indonesian provinces of Papua, Papua Pegunungan, Papua Tengah, Papua Selatan, Papua Barat, and Papua Barat Daya

[2] Compiled by a group of Papuan human rights defenders that visited IDPs from Nduga in the town of Wamena and surrounding areas between 12 and 20 July 2023  

[3] Jubi (9.11.2021): SORAKPATOK: 300 tewas dan 50 ribu warga Papua mengungsi, available at:

[4] CNN Indonesia (30.10.2021): Ribuan Warga Papua Mengungsi Usai Pecah Kontak Senjata, available at:

[5] Figures published by the National human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) in July 2023, updated information published by Jubi (10.04.2024): 3.387 warga sipil Maybrat masih mengungsi, available at:

[6] Compiled from multiple lists with names of IDPs, which local human rights defenders compiled in Pegunugan Bintang between April and July 2023. Church workers updated the number of deaths in July 2023

[7] The number is based on a name list compiled by human rights defenders in Serambakon shortly after the displacements occurred.

[8] The number is based on data compiled by local church workers. The information was received in February 2022

[9] The number is based on a name list that human rights defenders in Dekai compiled in September 2023

[10] Based on an estimation made by local human rights defenders in Kramongmongga in September 2023

[11] Based on information shared by local observers in Paniai on 16 April 2024