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Facts behind the Conflict between Goliath Tabuni’s Armed Separatism Criminal Group and the Indonesian Military


The existence of Armed Separatism Criminal Groups (Kelompok Kriminal Separatisme Bersenjata or KKSB) poses a massive threat to the security and stability of Papuan society. KKSB has committed violence, terrorized citizens, attacked security forces, and issued war ultimatums that endanger Indonesian sovereignty.

One of the largest KKSBs in Papua can be found in Tingginambut District, Puncak Jaya Regency. Its presence in this location causes Tingginambut to become a red zone; consequently, there have been many cases of violence and shootings against members of the Indonesian military, police and even residents. Goliath Tabuni commanded this criminal group.

Goliath Tabuni has many followers. In 2006 alone, Tabuni had 3,000 members. Because of the large number, Tabuni has been known as the Highest Commander of KKSB in Papua.

Tingginambut located at an altitude of about 2,000 meters above sea level. To reach Tingginambut by land; we can use two-wheeled or four-wheeled vehicles. The distance is only 30 minutes from Mulia, the capital of Puncak Jaya Regency.

Goliath Tabuni Isolated Tingginambut

Puncak Jaya Regency Government continues to try to open isolation in this mountainous area. So far, Tingginambut District has almost no economic activity for the residents and also education for school children in the area. From 2004 to 2011, Tingginambut was controlled by the Goliath Tabuni group.

Puncak Jaya Regent, Henock Ibo, admitted that it was challenging to open up the isolation of this area. Several times the district government has built infrastructure, school buildings or other facilities, but they were always damaged and even burned by the Goliath group.

Data from Puncak Jaya District Government stated that until 2012 there were about 112 Indonesian military personnel, motorcycle taxi drivers, and even local people who died as a result of shootings and violence allegedly committed by the Goliath group.

Mulia-Tingginambut Road to Change Tingginambut Communit

In 2014-2015, the District allocated IDR 75 billion (USD 4,950,000, exchange rate by October 12, 2018) in regional budget funds for the construction of the Mulia-Tingginambut road in Puncak Jaya, Papua. Previously to get to this area, it will took about two hours travel by land from Mulia. Today, it only needed 20 to 25 minutes.

The Mulia-Tingginambut road segment, technically called a weather-resistant solid road, has finally brought about a change for the community in Tingginambut.

Former Members of the Tingginambut KKSB Withdrew from the Goliath Tabuni Forces

On August 17, 2016, three hundred members of the Free Papua Movement (Organisasi Papua Merdeka or OPM) group led by Goliath Tabuni, went down the mountain and made a pledge to support the development of Indonesia, in Puncak Jaya Regency.

The pledge to return to the motherland was carried out after commemorating the 71st Anniversary of the Republic of Indonesia, in Puncak Jaya Regency, Papua, on that Wednesday.

Slowly, the Puncak Jaya Regency Government began to persuade Goliath followers to participate in developing Puncak Jaya. In 2013, when Henock Ibo was leading as Puncak Jaya Regent, he began employing around 50 former KKSBs as Satuan Polisi Pamong Praja (Municipal Police) in Puncak Jaya. The government also provides skill enhancing facilities to other former KKSB members, such as woodworking and gardening.

One of the former KKSB members, Supir Murib, said that he had decided to help the government in the development and go down the mountain since 2012. Moreover, Tingginambut has changed with the amount of expansion provided by the government, including roads and houses were provided for local residents.

“Tingginambut is no longer haunted like before. I continue to embrace our younger siblings who are still staying above (in the KKSB headquarter) with the district chief. The old man (Goliath) is still there. He is [already] old. He can not do anything. However, we asked Goliath not to disturb development, “said Murib who had visited Jakarta and Solo, and memorized the national anthem “Indonesia Raya”.

Another former KKSB member, Yalingga Enumbi, claimed that he no longer had the same thoughts as before; that is to oppose the government. He wanted to eliminate Tingginambut lousy image that had became the KKSB headquarter in the past.

“We want President Joko Widodo to visit Tingginambut and [we] will guarantee the security of the President here,” he said.

Efforts to Clean Up Tingginambut from Goliath Tabuni Group

On Monday (October 1, 2018), the Indonesian Military members conducted extensive operations in Tingginambut District. Around 6:00 a.m. local time, military members met with a mob from the Goliath Tabuni group at a place suspected of being the KKSB headquarters. Immediately there was a shootout between the military and armed separatism criminal group members. First Lieutenant Infantry Angga, leader of the military forces, did not know whether Goliath Tabuni was also in the base. KKSB fought fierce resistance and continued to fire on the military members. Not giving up; finally the Army managed to repel and seize the base.

Two KKSB Members Killed in the Shootout

“After the situation and the field were successfully restrained and controlled, military forces carried out the purge and found 2 KKSB members killed and 2 FNC-type long-barreled weapons,” Colonel Infantry Muhammad Aidi, Head of Army Command Information XVII/Cendrawasih, said.

“One of the victims from KKSB identified as Goliath Tabuni’s bodyguard, namely Dekilas Tabuni,” he added.

Hoax News to Get Sympathy from KKSB and Supporters of Free Papua

The news posted on www.tabloidjubi.com (October 6, 2018) and other media reports in the Asia Pacific stated that there were claims from a human rights worker of the Kingmi Church that seven people died in the crossfire. However, until now the said human rights worker cannot be identified.

KSP’s Facebook media also claimed that there were about 1,000 residents had run away to hide in the forest. However, the location of the incident was far from residential areas.

“How did it even possible that locals ran into the forest while the shootout happened in the forest, miles away from the living area?” Aidi said.

“The results of the investigation of a joint team of Armed National Force, Indonesia National Police, and the Red Cross on October 6, 2018, as the team swept the vicinity, that there were found two more decayed bodies, about 50 meters from the honai (Papua traditional house), which was used as Goliath Tabuni Headquarters and has become the location of firing contact on October 1. According to the description from Pastor Yopinus Kogoya and his member, Yonibi Wanimbo, that one of the corpses was Kopingga Tabuni’s body and the other was a woman named Wepi Wonda (one of Goliath Tabuni’s wives). Other information said that Dekilas Tabuni who was killed on October 2 is Goliat Tabuni’s son,” Aidi explained.

“So the total victims found due to the crossfire, both on the 1st and the 2nd of October, are five people, not seven people [as the media reported it] and all of them are adults aged over 20 to 40 years. There were no children, especially no pregnant women. The location of the discovery of the corpse was not on the edge of the village or settlement but in the forest where the location of the firing contact took place. This statement is an explanation from the investigation team,” Aidi confirmed.

Janur, Katharina. (August 17, 2016). Merah Putih Berkibar di Dekat Markas OPM Goliat Tabuni. Retrieved from Liputan 6: https://www.liputan6 .com/regional/read/2579047/merah-putih-berkibar-di-dekat-markas-opm-Goliath-tabuni, 2018
http://tabloidjubi.com/artikel-20153-hak-jawab–kodam-xvii-cenderawasih-bantah-ada-korban-anak-dan-ibu-hamil.html , 2018

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