Security force operation in districts Bibida and Paniai Timur – more than 5,000 Indigenous Moni and Me people flee their homes

A security force raid in the Bibida District, Paniai Regency, caused the internal displacement of an estimated more than 5,000 persons from 15 villages in Bibida and Paniai Timur District on 14 June 2024. Only elderly people who could no longer walk and sick people reportedly stayed. Churches have seized operations in the affected villages. Simultaneously, joint police and military forces established checkpoints and controlled passing vehicles in Enarolati town and Madi Village on 12 June 2024.

The districts Bibida and Paniai Timur are inhabited by the indigenous Moni and Me tribes. People fled their houses in fear of the security force operations and armed violence between the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) and Indonesian security forces. The operation was launched after TPNPB members shot dead a civilian non-Papuan in the Kopo Village, Paniai Timur District, on 11 June 2024.

According to information from local sources, security forces entered the Bibida District with ten trucks around 8.00 am and began searching houses. The operation was accompanied by four helicopters circulating over Bibida. One of them reportedly released multiple shootings during the raid causing thousands of people from the villages Bibida, Dama-Dama, Kolaitaka, Kugaisiga, Odiyai, Tuwakotu, and Ugidimi to flee their homes. In the Paniai Timur District, people from the villages Amougi, Timida, Kopo, Wouye Butu, Uwibutu, Madi, Ipakiye, and Pugotadi fled too (see table below).

Total number of IDPs from the districts Bibida and Paniai Timur, segregated by villages (source: independent HRD)

NoDistrictVillageTotal IDPsTribeAdditional information
1BibidaBibida443Moni/Mee100% of population left
Ugidimi597Moni/Mee100% of population left
Tuwakotu394Moni/Mee100% of population left
Kugaisiga453Moni/Mee100% of population left
Kolaitaka486Moni/Mee100% of population left
Dama-dama482Moni/Mee100% of population left
Odiyai416Moni/Mee100% of population left
2Paniai TimurAmougi289Mee100% of population left
Timida318Mee100% of population left
Kopo555Mee100% of population left
Wouye Butu368Mee100% of population left
Uwibutu47Mee30% of population left
Madi26Mee20% of population left
Ipakiye35Mee20% of population left
Pugotadi125Mee40% of population left
TOTAL IDPs5,034 

According to the Commander of Military District Command (Kodim) 1703/Deiyai, Lieutenant Colonel Inf I Wayan Deddy Suryanto, about 1,265 internally displaced persons (IDPs) reportedly sought shelter in the Salib Suci Church in Madi. The IDPs only have a roof at the church. However, there are no tiles on the floor, windows, or doors, as the construction process has not been finalised, yet (see photos & videos below, source: Catholic Church, Papua Tengah). Most of them are Catholics while IDPs belonging to the churches Kingmi Papua and the Kemah Injil Indonesia (GKII) do not know where to seek shelter. About 370 IDPs reportedly arrived in Nabire on 16 June 2024.

Local parliament members and the Paniai Regent visited the IDPs in Madi and the Gerbang Sadu Village in Nabire Regency, on 16 June 2024. They donated food and financial support of 100 million rupiah (about € 5,672) to each of the IDP shelters.

Security force operation in Bibida District, 14 June 2024

IDPs from Bibida flee their homes

IDPs from Bibida and Paniai Timur seek refuge inside the Catholic Salib Suci Church in Madi

Paniai Regent and local parliament members distribute relief goods to IDps from Bibida and Paniai Timur

Local Govt provides water supply for IDPs from Bibida and Paniai Timur

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