Security forces continue deployments and raids in Maybrat Regency – At least one person arrested

The security situation in the Maybrat Regency has significantly deteriorated since the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) claimed to occupy the Kumurkek, Aifat District, the largest town in the Maybrat Regency. Since 26 December 2022, local informants have observed the deployment of additional police and military units to the  Kisor Village, Aifat Selatan District, and to the villages Faan Kahrio and Kamat, located in the Aifat Timur Tengah District. According to information received, the YPPK Christian Elementary School and the Santa Maria Bunda Allah Catholic Church in Faan Kahrio have been occupied by security force members as security posts.

On 7 January 2023, human rights observers spotted a tank in the city of Sorong (see photos below, source: independent HRDs). This is the first time in decades that a war tank was photographed in West Papua. The tank was deployed to the Maybrat Regency (see photo, source: independent HRDs) along with further security force members (see photos below, source: independent HRDs). On 23 January, about 400 additional security force personnel was again deployed to the villages Faan Kahrio, Kamat, Assem, Sory, Aisa, Kisor, and Tahsimara.

On 18 January 2023, joint security forces carried out raids, combing the area from the Kamat Village, Aifat Timur Tengah, in the direction of the Aisa Village, Aifat Timur District. Several villagers who had already returned to the villages were arrested in the Aisa Village on 19 January 2023. The total number and names of the arrestees are currently not known. A woman who avoided the arrest reported that security force members arrested her husband, Mr Aberham Fatem, 33, during the raid in Aisa.

Regardless of the conflict intensification, the growing presence of security forces in Maybrat and ongoing security force raids in villages, the local government is trying to re-settle internally displaced persons (IDPs) from surrounding urban areas back to the villages. Many IDPs refuse to return to their villages. Many houses were devastated or damaged during security force raids. The education and health care system in the villages is still dysfunctional. The IDPs fear being arbitrarily arrested or tortured during the attacks.

New security forces deployments to Maybrat

Detailed Case Data
name of the location: Aisa (-1.2870075646012396, 132.64802411521723)
administrative region: Indonesia, Papua Barat Province, Maybrat Regency, Aifat Timur District, Aisa Village
total number of victims: unknown
period of incident: 19.01.2023
perpetrator: other security forces
perpetrator details: unknown
Issues: indigenous peoples, arbitrary detention
Further HRM News:

NumberName, DetailsGenderAgeGroup AffiliationViolation
1Aberham Fatemmale33indigenousarbitrary detention