Security force operation in Intan Jaya Regency during Christmas – indigenous villagers flee their homes

A further security force operation was launched in the highland regency of Intan Jaya. A few days before Christmas, police and military helicopters deployed additional military units to Intan Jaya (see intro image), after armed clashes between the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-PB) on 17 December 2019 had resulted in the death of two TNI members. Human rights defenders and news outlets reported that indigenous people from the villages Wayasiga, Bulapa, Kulapa, Yoparu, Wabui, Ugimba and Ndugusiga have fled their homes as a result of the armed clashes and the heavy military presence. The total number of IDPs is currently not known. According to information received, the military members searched houses and occupied the facilities of the Catholic Primary School SD YPPK Titigi to accommodate soldiers.

The internally displaced persons (IDPs) fled to the Nabire Regency and Sugapa, the largest town in Intan Jaya. The local Government has set up an team to work with the IDPs. The regent of Intan Jaya, Natalis Tabuni, announced they will establish refugee camps once the local Government receives funds which are supposed to be allocated in early January 2020.