Police Arrest 165 Men in Latest Papua Tribal Clash
Police arrested 165 tribesmen from the village of Kwamki Lama in Mimika, Papua, on Wednesday, after yet another outbreak of violence between residents of three neighborhoods in the village.
A group of several hundred tribesmen from the kampungs (neighborhoods) of Amole and Karang Senang attacked residents of Harapan kampung on Wednesday morning, in retaliation for the deaths of two Karang Senang residents, Zainarius Mbisikmbo and Ike Mbisikmbo, Indonesian news portal Tempo.co reported on Wednesday. All three kampungs are located in Kwamki Lama.
Zainarius and Ike were killed by a group of men, believed to be Harapan residents, with arrows and machetes. Two other Karang Senang villagers, Frans Bagau and Obmi Mbisikmbo, were injured in the attack and remain hospitalized.
Violent conflict between Amole and Harapan has been going on for months. At least three people have died and dozens more been injured since June 6, when the last round of clashes was sparked by the death of a tribe member in a road accident. But the Wednesday morning clash was the first time Karang Senang got involved. Karang Senang tribesmen have denounced Harapan for dragging their tribe into the conflict by attacking four of its members.
The attack took place at about 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Four houses in Harapan kampung were set on fire by the attackers, most of whom carried bows and arrows.
Half an hour later, a joint Indonesian police and military force arrived at the village and dispersed the mobs, firing warning shots to do so.
Mimika Police official Comr. Albertus Andreana said 165 Harapan tribesmen were arrested and suspected of involvement in the attack on the four Karang Senang residents.
“We’re still handling the Karang Senang kampong attack,” Albertus said in Mimika on Wednesday, making a point of the distinction between this and the recurring conflicts between Amole and Harapan, which he described as “a separate case from the old conflicts in Kwamki Lama.”
“We’ve taken 165 people to question them,” Albertus said. He added that the other Harapan tribesmen involved, many of whom were armed, had fled into the jungle.