Camelia Pasandaran & Banjir Ambarita
Violence continued to escalate in Papua on Thursday as gunmen shot a woman and a police officer in the latest incidents of separate shootings in the restive province this week.
A 20-year-old man was also shot on Thursday morning in Jayapura. In total, eight people have been shot — and one soldier stabbed — in the province since Monday.
On Thursday afternoon, police officer Brig. Laedi was shot by two unknown gunmen in the Angkaisera district, Papua Police spokesman Adj. Sr. Comr. Yohanes Nugroho Wicaksono said.
“Angkaisera police were shot at by unidentified gunmen,” Yohanes said. “One officer was shot on the left side of his waist.”
Police chased the gunmen, but they reportedly fled into the jungle, Yohanes said.
“We are still investigating whether this is revenge for the raid of an OPM headquarters in that district,” he said.
Two members of the Free Papua Organization (OPM) were arrested in a raid in Angkaisera on May 31 by members of the police and Indonesian military (TNI).
In Kerom district, a woman was shot on Thursday by an unidentified gunman, according to Papuan human rights activist Ferry Marisan. She was taken to Abepura hospital and her condition is unknown.
Police blame the recent surge in violence in Jayapura and surrounding districts on Papua’s separatist elements.
Ferry said he doubted groups like the OPM were behind the attacks, instead pointing the finger at Indonesian security forces.
“Papua is a place for law enforcement to
get promoted,” Ferry said. “Isn’t
it strange that after a series of shootings, the police cannot find the
perpetrators? They always claim the perpetrators are unidentified gunmen.
They analyzed the bullet, conducted ballistic tests but the results were
never made public.”
The activist criticized the Papua Police, saying officers should gather evidence before placing the blame on groups like the OPM, which is based in Puncak Jaya, more than 400 kilometers from the provincial capital.
“Their base camp is in Puncak Jaya, not in
Jayapura,” Ferry said. “Jayapura is not a big city, where there is
only one main road running north to south. There is no way for OPM members
to hide without being caught by police.”
Ferry said the Indonesian government has an interest in prolonging the conflict in Papua.
“If there is conflict here, there will be money from the central
government for the police and military to solve the case,” he