Two Papuans, Endis Tabuni and Ekira Lokbere, risked their lives to rescue Trans Papua construction workers along with the tragic events of the killing of 24 employees of PT Istaka Karya at the December 1st Celebration in Nduga, Papua.
The Chief of Information for the Cenderawasih Military Command, Colonel Infantry Muhammad Aidi, relates that in the tragic incident of December 1st, armed separatist groups took PT Istaka Karya workers from the workers’ camp. Some of these groups also swept the residents’ houses around the camp to look for non-Yigi Tribe to be killed.
Endis Tabuni was an orderly at the Yigi Community Health Center and was also responsible for overseeing the construction of a doctor’s house in the village. While carrying her child, Martina Tabuni, who is still a toddler, Endis sought every means to save two construction project workers in the area.
Endis said at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Indonesia Time (UTC +9), five members of the separatist group came and pointed their weapons at her. They asked Endis to hand over two construction workers of the doctor’s house whom she accommodated. Endis said that both of them had run into the forest. However, the two workers were still hiding inside her house.
At 9:00 p.m., Endis checked around the village even without lighting. After she deemed everything safe, Endis then picked up the two workers. At 12:00 a.m., Endis guided the two workers to Mbua while carrying her child. Because they walked quickly, in the middle of their journey they got separated. Fortunately, all three were able to meet again at the Mbua Military Post together with several residents who also escaped to Mbua.
Ekira Lokbere also risked his life to save five workers from PT Istaka Karya, including his boss. Ekira was a resident of Mbua but worked at PT Istaka Karya in Yigi. Because he has a house in Yigi, Ekira does not live in a worker camp. At that time, Ekira accommodated several workers and his boss.
Thrilling things happened when armed separatist groups came to his house to ask for money. The money will be used for the December 1st Ceremony. At that time, everyone in the house was asked for money. After the group got the money, they also asked the worker and the boss. Ekira did not allow them. Ekira bravely said if they wanted to take them, “Kill me first!” Finally, Ekira and her coworkers were left alive by the separatist group.
Meanwhile, Indonesian Army is still carrying out evacuations and searches of bodies and survivors from the camp of PT Istaka Karya workers. The military estimates that there are still four dead victims that have not been found and there are at least two people who are still alive today.
Santoso, Bangun. (December 7, 2018). Cerita Heroik 2 Warga Nduga Selamatkan Pekerja Istaka Karya dari Penembakan. Retrieved from Suara.com: suara .com/news/2018/12/07/082136/cerita-heroik-2-warga-nduga-selamatkan-pekerja-istaka-karya-dari-penembakan, 2018.