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CrisisWatch Indonesia

Unchanged Situation

Low-level armed violence persisted in Papua amid arrests of pro-independence activists; concerns rose about spread of COVID-19. United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) leader Benny Wenda 2 June said govt had cut off internet in Papua to “conceal its crackdown on the peaceful liberation movement”, also said ULMWP leader in hiding and two of his relatives had been arrested. In Papua province, low-level armed violence continued. In Ilaga district, Puncak regency, unknown armed assailants 3 June killed construction worker near Kibogolome village, same day killed three people and injured three others in Nipuralome village. NGO International Coalition for Papua 24 June reported that military 4 June killed indigenous Papuan in Wamena town, Jayawijaya regency. Authorities 25 June reported that dozens of armed assailants previous day opened fire on construction workers in central Yahukimo regency, killing at least four people; separatist armed group West Papua Liberation Army claimed responsibility for killings. Arrests of activists continued. In Merauke district, authorities 9 June arrested Manuel Metemko, pro-independence activist from NGO West Papua National Committee (KNPB), for allegedly spreading fake news on Facebook about Catholic Church leaders; Metemko faces charges under Electronic Information and Transaction Law which carries up to six years imprisonment. Police 18 June also reportedly arrested 32 members of NGO West Papua National Committee in Napua district, Jayawijaya; all detainees released next day. Amid rumours of mandatory COVID-19 vaccination plans, protesters 27 June demonstrated against alleged programme at Freeport mine in Tembaggapura district, Mimika regency; authorities reportedly violently dispersed protesters, leaving one injured, and arrested 20. Localised violence erupted in Elelim district as pro-regent supporters 29 June set fire to govt offices and residential buildings, and blocked roads, reportedly in protest at Constitutional Court’s decision requesting new local polls and preventing current regent from running in regional election. Meanwhile, Indonesian Red Cross 29 June said surge in COVID-19 cases across country had left Indonesia “on the edge of a COVID-19 catastrophe”. U.S. and Indonesia 25 June agreed plans for maritime training centre on Indonesia’s Batam Island in Singapore Strait (see South China Sea).
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