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10/6/08

West Papuan guerrilla commander orders closure of Freeport mine

Human Rights Report 17 September 2008



Orders issued by General Kelly Kwalik of the West Papuan Liberation
Army (TPN) are confirmed to be the reason for a series of explosions
and shots being fired around the Freeport mine in West Papua in the
past week.

This information is based on communication with Kelly Kwalik's men in
Timika and documentation supplied by Kelly Kwalik. Kelly Kwalik
states the purpose of the guerrilla campaign is to 'Close Down
Mining' and to bring international attention to the situation at
Freeport and West Papua.

Kelly Kwalik has reported he is taking these actions both as a
traditional landowner of the Freeport mine area and as an Operational
Commander of the West Papua Liberation Army.

Kwalik has stated the reasons for his action as the ongoing tribal
conflicts caused by the mine, the ongoing abuses of the human rights
of the indigenous peoples, the destruction and pollution of the
environment associated with the mines operation and that the presence
of this company has invited many kinds of problems especially among
the people who are living in the surrounding of mining area.

Kwalik seeks also to address the problems in West Papua of lack of
political rights for West Papuan indigenous people and to express
their desire for political independence. Kwalik says, "The Closing of
this mining will be done until there is an West Papua nation which
has its own independence separated from NKRI (the unitary state of
Indonesian Republic)".

Kwalik say he supports for international sponsored dialogue as the
mechanism through which a negotiated settlement which can give
benefits to the West Papua people and the landowners at Freeport.

Paula Makabory representing the Institute for Papuan Advocacy & Human
Rights said. "We are able to confirm that Kelly Kwalik orders are the
reason why there has been gunshots and explosions around the Freeport
mining concession."

'The reports indicate that the guerrillas are targeting mine
facilities and infrastructure rather than civilians or security
forces in this action. Kelly Kwalik has clearly ordered that the mine
will be the target of guerrilla campaign until West Papua sovereignty
issues are resolved."

Matthew Jamieson also from Institute for Papuan Advocacy and Human
Rights said, "The commencement of this campaign has major
implications for the security of West Papuans in the Freeport area,
especially the traditional owners, because of the likelihood of
reprisals by the Indonesian security forces. In the past there has
been significant human rights abuse associated with the mine security
and we expect that there will be a significant increase military
activity because of these recent actions."

Matthew Jamieson went on to say, "Kelly Kwalik first attacked the
mine in 1972, significantly disrupting mining operations. This lead
to a sustained Indonesian military campaign and widespread reprisals,
including bombing and strafing villages, both in the immediate area
of the mine and elsewhere in the highlands where people had nothing
to do with the mine. Many thousands of local people were reportedly
killed at this time."

"Since then Kwalik group has been in the jungle operating outside
Indonesian control. Kwalik's principal political actions have been
maintaining a guerrilla force, evading capture by Indonesian security
forces and undertaking flag raising events in areas mostly outside
Indonesian military control."

"In 1995 the Indonesian military together with Freeport security were
accused of the killings of a large number of traditional landowners
including Kwalik's immediate relatives."

For Further information contact:

Paula Makabory +61 (0) 402547517

Matthew Jamieson +61 (0) 418291998





Matthew Jamieson

Institute for Papuan Advocacy & Human Rights

PO Box 1805, Byron Bay NSW 2481 Australia

matthew@hr.minihub.org

tel +61 (0) 418291998

1 comment:

Indigenous Peoples Advocate said...

Thank you for sharing, we don't often hear about indigenous people's struggles in West Papua. The Freeport mine has been of controversy for some time, and it seems like it will continue into the future.

Armas

Armas