20 Dec 2012

Elsham Papua report significant increase in conflicts and violence

7:21 pm on 20 December 2012

The human rights monitoring group ELSHAM Papua says events of the past 16 months in Indonesia's Papua indicate the region has reverted back to being a Zone of Military Operations.

ELSHAM has reported on several incidents that resulted in serious casualties but says despite the growing severity of the incidents, these did not prompt the Government to react.

These include a military operation in Paniai which began in 2011 and resulted in what ELSHAM calls grave human rights violations and assaults against civillians in Wamena.

Dozens of shooting incidents took place which police largely attribute to unknown assailants, adding to concerns by ELSHAM that perpetrators of violence enjoy legal impunity.

Throughout 2012, there were 45 attacks by unknown assailants, killing 34 people and injuring dozens.

The NGO says conditions such as these are similar to what was experienced in the decades between 1970 and 2000 when Papua was designated as a Military Operations Area.