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December 1: Violent Party of Free Papua Anniversary

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West Papua Independence Celebration on 1 December always creates fear among the local Papuans. In recent months, the OPM (Free Papua Organization) has threatened not only members of the military, but also civilians. In early November, Purom Wenda and his OPM group shot dead a motorcycle-taxi driver. The Goliath Tabuni group operating in Tingginambut also disturbed the surrounding community. There are still many other terrorist acts such as shootings and hostage-taking that undermine the people. Because of these, the December 1st celebration sparked fears of officials and residents.

The increase in security is done because the separatist groups often use certain momentum to show their existence. Security enhancements to the OPM anniversary this year have been important because of their terrorizing activities in recent months.

The use of momentum can be seen from the events of the 73rd Indonesian Independence Day last August. At that time armed separatist criminal groups opened fire on the PT Freeport Indonesia vehicle, Tembagapura, and resulted in an employee being injured.

The Mimika Police Chief said that even though security was increased, the people did not need to worry. People’s daily activities will not be disturbed; instead, it will be safer.

Violence has often been carried out by the Armed Separatist Criminal Group, or OPM, in recent months. Shooting cases, as well as civilian hostages, often occur. In early November, the criminal group shot a motorcycle taxi driver to provoke the arrival of security forces. Criminal groups hiding around the vicinity welcomed the officers with bullets.

With the increasing frequency of terrorism from the OPM, it is not impossible if the OPM plans for another larger crime to commemorate their anniversary. This possibility caused excessive concern for civilians as well as security forces. Because of that, preventive action is one of the ways for the police to secure their citizens.

All of these events will cause unrest by the OPM in everyday life. The struggle of the OPM has been difficult to categorize into the struggle to gain freedom of expression and independence because they are fighting efforts to advance the people and carry out terror on their own.

Source:
Supar, Evarianus. (November 16, 2018). Polisi Mimika Tingkatkan Kewaspadaan Jelang HUT OPM. Retrived from AntaraNews: papua.antaranews .com/berita/473493/polisi-mimika-tingkatkan-kewaspadaan-jelang-hut-opm, 2018.

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