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KST’s Brutal Actions Create Trauma and Fear in the Community

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The acts of violence carried out by the Papuan armed criminal group, known as the Separatist and Terrorist Group (KST), have created a wave of fear and trauma in society.

KST has become a trigger for conflict and fear among the people in Papua. The latest shocking case is KST’s confession that he shot members of the Indonesian National Army (TNI) after carrying out a deadly attack on seven gold panners in Papua, which ultimately resulted in 7 deaths.

The KST group acting on behalf of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) firmly admitted its actions through posts on social media. They claimed to have attacked a TNI post on October 27 2023, which resulted in the shooting of a TNI member and the burning of an excavator.

This confession was conveyed by a party claiming to be the Management of the TPNPB National Commission Headquarters on October 28 2023. They detailed that a report from the Sorong Raya TPNPB Kodap IV Operations Commander, Major Arnoldus Yancen Kocu, confirmed that TPNPB troops under the leadership of the Kamuntan Raya Battalion Commander had succeeded in attacking TNI post, tragically shot dead a TNI member.

Sebby Sambom, OPM spokesperson, also conveyed this information in the form of a voice note. In the recording, they explained that they attacked the Kamuntan Raya post and shot a TNI member, while emphasizing that the Kamuntan Raya area was not a war zone.

On the other hand, Julius Widjojono, Head of the TNI Information Center, denied the news of an attack on a TNI post by the OPM in Afiat Timur Tengah District, Ayata Village, Maybrat Regency, West Papua Province, on Friday, October 27 2023. Julius also denied that there were any victims of TNI members. died in the attack.

After this incident, joint TNI and Polri troops succeeded in evacuating 27 gold panners who survived in Kali Kali I, Seredala District, Yahukimo Regency, Papua Mountains. Unfortunately, 7 victims died in the KST attack, including miners from East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) and Sulawesi.

AKBP Bayu Suseno from the Head of the Cartenz 2023 Peace Public Relations Task Force revealed that the condition of the bodies of the massacre victims was very pathetic. Some of them were found in a state of decay and were difficult to identify. The two victims who were burned to nothing but their bones were identified as Akmal and Andika.

Apart from that, the Cartenz Peace Task Force noted that as many as 13 gold miners died as a result of the actions of the KKB led by Egianus Kogoya in Yahukimo, Papua Mountains, on Monday, October 16 2023.

These victims have been buried by their respective families. Despite being in a terrible condition and unrecognizable, the team managed to identify their identities and hand over the bodies to the families.

After this tragic incident, the Papua Police Chief, Inspector General Mathius D Fakhri, ordered the Cartenz Peace Task Force to act firmly against the perpetrators. Yotam Bugiangge, known as the main actor in the massacre, was a former member of Infantry Battalion 756/Wimane Sili (Yonif 756/MWS) and had been fired.

Yotam joined the Egianus Kogoya Group after fleeing with an SS-2 V1 weapon since December 17 2021.

The list of names of the dead includes a variety of ages and backgrounds, showing the huge impact of the KKB’s brutal actions in the region.

In an increasingly worsening situation, no less than 53 residents of Eronggobak Village, Omukia District, Puncak Regency, Central Papua, fled to the Eromaga Post of the Mobile Raider 300/BJW Task Force (Brajawijaya).

They fled because they were afraid of KST. Most of the residents who fled were women, children and the elderly.

Kaskogabwilhan III, Marsma TNI Deni Hasoloan Simanjuntak, confirmed that the residents fled after seeing suspicious signs from KST members wandering around their village. They were suspicious of the presence of KKB members led by Titus Murib, who came from the Headwater area. This concern prompted them to seek shelter at the nearest TNI Post.

Conditions became increasingly heated when a firefight occurred between TNI soldiers from Infantry Battalion 300/Bjw and KST around Erogama. A KST member died in the incident, which further complicated the situation in the region.

The events that have been revealed in this report have created deep fear and trauma among the innocent people of Papua. They are caught in a fight they did not choose, becoming targets of increasingly widespread attacks by armed criminal groups.

KST has created a sense of insecurity that threatens the daily lives of citizens, as well as claiming many innocent lives in their brutal actions.

The uncertainty and anxiety of the Papuan people are increasingly clearly visible to us. Collaborative efforts between the central government, regional governments, security forces and the Papuan people themselves are needed to deal firmly with this problem. Protection of civilians and fair law enforcement must be a top priority. The invitation to all parties is to reflect and act together. The safety, peace and welfare of the Papuan people must be a common goal. Armed conflict will only worsen the situation and complicate development and peace efforts in this region.

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