IDPs from Bibida and Paniai Timur return home

The internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the districts of Bibida and Paniai Timur were allowed to return home. An estimated number of more than 5,000 persons fled on 14 June 2024 after security forces carried out raids against the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) in response to the assassination of a taxi driver in the Kopo Village on 12 June 2024. On 25 June 2024, security forces accompanied more than 1,200 IDPs from the Catholic Salib Suci Church to their villages. HRM has not received information about IDPs who had fled to Timika, Nabire, and Enarotali.

In the early morning of 25 June, the acting regent of Paniai, Dr Martha Pigome announced to the IDPs in Madi that they were allowed to return to their hometowns escorted by local government officials and security forces as the security situation in Bibida and Paniai Timur had recovered. For eleven days, they had lived inside the unfinished church building that is still under construction. The local government and solidarity groups provided the IDPs with food and other relief aid.

IDPs from Bibida receiving directions to return home

IDPs leave the Salib Suci Catholic Church in Madi, Paniai

IDPs inside the Salib Suci Church in Madi, Paniai Regency