Papua conflict
Part of West New Guinea dispute and the Terrorism in Indonesia

  • 1 October 1962 – present
  • (61 years, 8 months and 22 days)
Status Ongoing
 Indonesia  Free Papua Movement
Units involved

Indonesian Army

Indonesian Navy

Indonesian Air Force

Indonesian National Police

Autonomous units
affiliated with the

Unknown 500–600 (2023 estimate)[8][9]
Casualties and losses

72 soldiers (mostly non-combat) and 34 policemen killed

Total: 106 security forces killed (2010 – March 2022)[10]
at least 38 killed (2010 – March 2022)[10]
320 civilians killed (2010 – March 2022)[10]
Estimates vary between 100,000[11] to 500,000 deaths[12]

The Papua conflict (Indonesian: Konflik Papua) is an ongoing conflict in Western New Guinea (Papua) between Indonesia and the Free Papua Movement (Indonesian: Organisasi Papua Merdeka, OPM). Subsequent to the withdrawal of the Dutch administration from the Netherlands New Guinea in 1962[13] and implementation of Indonesian administration in 1963,[14] the Free Papua Movement has conducted a low-intensity guerrilla war against Indonesia through the targeting of its military, police,[15] as well as civilian populations.[16]

Papuan separatists have conducted protests and ceremonies, raising their flag for independence or calling for federation with Papua New Guinea,[15] and accuse the Indonesian government of indiscriminate violence and of suppressing their freedom of expression. Indonesia has also been accused of conducting a genocidal campaign[17] against the indigenous inhabitants. In a 2007 book, author De R. G. Crocombe wrote that an estimated 100,000 to 300,000 Papuans had been killed by Indonesian security forces,[11] and many women raped or subjected to other sexual violence.[18] Research on violence toward Papuan women[Note 1] by the Papuan Women's Working Group, together with the Asia Justice Rights (AJAR), found that 64 out of 170 (or 4 out of 10) Papuan women surveyed in 2013, 2017 experienced some form of state violence.[19] A more recent study in 2019 found that 65 out of 249 Papuan women shared such experiences.[Note 2][20][21] The UN has called for "urgent and unrestricted humanitarian aid to the region" in 2022, speaking of "shocking abuses" against local populations listing "child killings, disappearances, torture and mass population displacement."[22]

Indonesian governance in the region has been compared to that of a police state, involving the suppression of free political association and expression,[23] although others have noted conflicts in Papua are instead caused by the near or total absence of state involvement in some areas.[24]

The Indonesian authorities continue to restrict foreign access to the region due to what they officially claim to be "safety and security concerns".[25] Some organizations have called for a peacekeeping mission in the area.[26][27]

Historical background


Main article: West New Guinea dispute

The Indonesian National Armed Forces has been accused of committing human rights abuses in Papua.

In December 1949, at the end of the Indonesian National Revolution, the Netherlands agreed to recognise Indonesian sovereignty over the territories of the former Dutch East Indies, with the exception of Western New Guinea, which the Dutch continued to hold as Netherlands New Guinea. The nationalist Indonesian government argued that it was the successor state to the whole of the Dutch East Indies and wanted to end the Dutch colonial presence in the archipelago. The Netherlands argued that the Papuans were ethnically different[28] and that the Netherlands would continue to administer the territory until it was capable of self-determination.[29] From 1950 onwards, the Dutch and the Western powers agreed that the Papuans should be given an independent state, but due to global considerations, mainly the Kennedy administration's desire to keep Indonesia on their side of the Cold War, the United States pressured the Dutch to sacrifice Papua's independence and transfer the territory to Indonesia.[30]

In 1962, the Dutch agreed to relinquish the territory to temporary United Nations administration, signing the New York Agreement, which included a provision that a plebiscite would be held before 1969. The Indonesian military organised this vote, called the Act of Free Choice in 1969 to determine the population's views on the territory's future; the result was in favor of integration into Indonesia. In violation of the Agreement between Indonesia and the Netherlands, the vote was a show of hands in the presence of the Indonesian military, and only involved 1,025 hand picked people who were "forced at gunpoint" to vote for integration, much less than 1% of those who should have been eligible to vote[citation needed]. The legitimacy of the vote is hence disputed by independence activists who protest the military occupation of Papua by Indonesia.[31] Indonesia is regularly accused of human rights abuses, including attacks on OPM-sympathetic civilians and detaining those who raise the Morning Star flag under accusations of treason.[32]

As a result of the transmigration program, which since 1969 has included migration to Papua, about half of inhabitants of Indonesian Papua are migrants.[33] Interracial marriages are increasingly common and the children of trans-migrants have come to see themselves as "Papuan" over their parents' ethnic group.[34] As of 2010, 13,500 Papuan refugees live in exile in the neighbouring Papua New Guinea (PNG)[33] and fighting occasionally spills over the border. As a result the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) has set up patrols along PNG's western border to prevent infiltration by the OPM. Additionally, the PNG government has engaged in expelling resident "border crossers" and making it a requirement for migrants to take a pledge against anti-Indonesian activity[citation needed]. Since the late 1970s, the OPM have made retaliatory "threats against PNG business projects and politicians for the PNGDF's operations against the OPM".[35] The PNGDF has performed joint border patrols with Indonesia since the 1980s, although the PNGDF's operations against the OPM are "parallel".[36]


Prior to the arrival of the Dutch, two Moluccan principalities known as the Sultanate of Tidore and the Sultanate of Ternate claimed dominion over Western New Guinea.[37] In 1660, the Dutch recognized the Sultan of Tidore's sovereignty over New Guinea. It thus became notionally Dutch as the Dutch held power over Tidore. A century later, in 1793, Britain attempted a failed settlement near Manokwari. After almost 30 years, in 1824 Britain and the Netherlands agreed to divide the land; rendering the eastern half of the island as being under British control and the western half would become part of the Dutch East Indies.

In 1828, the Dutch established a settlement in Lobo (near Kaimana) which also failed. Almost 30 years later, the Germans established the first missionary settlement on an island near Manokwari. While in 1828 the Dutch claimed the south coast west of the 141st meridian and the north coast west of Humboldt Bay in 1848, Dutch activity in New Guinea was minimal until 1898 when the Dutch established an administrative center, which was subsequently followed by missionaries and traders. Under Dutch rule, commercial links were developed between West New Guinea and Eastern Indonesia. In 1883, New Guinea was divided between the Netherlands, Britain, and Germany; with Australia occupying the German territory in 1914. In 1901, the Netherlands formally purchased West New Guinea from the Sultanate of Tidore, incorporating it into the Dutch East Indies.[38] During World War II, the territory was occupied by Japan but was later recaptured by the Allies, who restored Dutch rule.[39]

The unification of Western New Guinea with Papua New Guinea was official Australian government policy for a short period of time in the 1960s, before Indonesia's annexation of the region.[40] Generally, proposals regarding federation with Papua New Guinea are a minority view in the freedom movement. Arguments for federation generally focus around shared cultural identity between the two halves of the island.[41]

Four years after the 17 August 1945 proclamation of Indonesian independence, the Indonesian National Revolution ended with the Dutch–Indonesian Round Table Conference in late 1949 at which the Netherlands agreed to transfer sovereignty to the United States of Indonesia, the successor state to the Dutch East Indies. However, the Dutch refused to include Netherlands New Guinea in the new Indonesian Republic and decided to assist and prepare it for independence as a separate country. It was agreed that the present status quo of the territory would be maintained and then negotiated bilaterally one year after the date of the transfer of sovereignty. This transfer formally occurred on 27 December 1949. [42][43]

A year later, both Indonesia and the Netherlands were still unable to resolve their differences, which led Indonesian President Sukarno to accuse the Dutch of reneging on their promises to negotiate the handover of the territory. The Dutch were persistent in their argument that the territory did not belong to Indonesia because the Melanesian Papuans were ethnically and geographically different from Indonesians, and that the territory had always been administrated separately. On top of that, some Papuans did not participate in the Indonesian Revolution, and that educated Papuans at the time were split between those supporting Indonesian integration, those supporting Dutch colonial rules, and those supporting Papuan independence.[44][45]

While at face-value, the Dutch seemed to have the Papuans’ interest at heart, political scientist Arend Lijphart disagreed. He argued that other underlying Dutch motives to prevent West New Guinea from joining Indonesia included the territory's lucrative economic resources, its strategic importance as a Dutch naval base, and its potential role for creating a Eurasian homeland, housing the Eurasians who had become displaced by the Indonesian National Revolution. The Dutch also wanted to maintain a regional presence and to secure their economic interests in Indonesia.[46]

On the other hand, Indonesia regarded West New Guinea as an intrinsic part of the country on the basis that Indonesia was the successor state to the Dutch East Indies. Papuans participated in the momentous 1928 Youth Pledge, which is the first proclamation of an "Indonesian identity" which symbolically was attended by numerous ethnic youth groups from all over Indonesia.[47] Indonesian irredentist sentiments were also inflamed by the fact that several Indonesian political prisoners (mainly leftist and communist from the failed 1926 uprising) had been interned at a remote prison camp north of Merauke called Boven-Digoel in 1935 prior to World War II. They made contact with many Papuan civil servants which formed Indonesian revolution groups in Papua.[48][49] Some support also came from native kingdoms mainly around Bomberai Peninsula which had extensive relationship with Sultanate of Tidore, these efforts was led by Machmud Singgirei Rumagesan, King of Sekar.[50] These sentiments were also reflected in the popular Indonesian revolutionary slogan "Indonesia Merdeka- dari Sabang sampai Merauke" "Indonesia Free—from Sabang to Merauke.[51] The slogan indicates the stretch of Indonesian territory from the most western part in Sumatra, Sabang, and the most eastern part in Merauke, a small city in West New Guinea. Sukarno also contended that the continuing Dutch presence in West New Guinea was an obstacle to the process of nation-building in Indonesia and that it would also encourage secessionist movements.[52]

Bilateral negotiations (1950–1953)

The Netherlands and Indonesia tried to resolve the West New Guinea dispute through several rounds of bilateral negotiations between 1950 and 1953. These negotiations ended up to become unsuccessful and led the two governments to harden their stance and position. On 15 February 1952, the Dutch Parliament voted to incorporate New Guinea into the realm of the Netherlands and shortly after, the Netherlands refused further discussion on the question of sovereignty and considered the issue to be closed.[53] In response, President Sukarno adopted a more forceful stance towards the Dutch. Initially, he unsuccessfully tried to force the Indonesian government to abrogate the Round Table agreements and to adopt economic sanctions but was rebuffed by the Natsir Cabinet. Undeterred by this setback, Sukarno made recovering the territory a top priority of his presidency and sought to harness popular support from the Indonesian public for this goal throughout many of his speeches between 1951 and 1952.[54]

By 1953, the dispute had become the central issue in Indonesian domestic politics. All political parties across the political spectrum, particularly the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI), supported Sukarno's efforts to integrate the territory into Indonesia. According to historians Audrey and George McTurnan Kahin, the PKI's pro-integration stance helped the party to rebuild its political base and to further its credentials as a nationalist Communist Party that supported Sukarno.[53]

United Nations (1954–1957)

In 1954, Indonesia decided to take the dispute to the United Nations and succeeded in having it placed on the agenda for the upcoming ninth session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). In response, the Dutch Ambassador to the United Nations, Herman van Roijen, warned that the Netherlands would ignore any recommendations which might be made by the UN regarding the dispute.[55] During the Bandung Conference in April 1955, Indonesia succeeded in securing a resolution supporting its claim to West New Guinea from African and Asian countries. In addition,[56] Indonesia was also supported by the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies.[55]

In terms of international support, the Netherlands was supported by the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and several Western European and Latin American countries. However, these countries were unwilling to commit to providing military support in the event of a conflict with Indonesia.[57] The Eisenhower administration were open to non-violent territorial changes but rejected the use of any military means to resolve the dispute. Until 1961, the United States pursued a policy of strict neutrality and abstained on every vote on the dispute.[58] According to the historian Nicholas Tarling, the United Kingdom took the position that it was "strategically undesirable" for control of the territory to pass to Indonesia because it created a precedent for encouraging territorial changes based on political prestige and geographical proximity.[59]

The Australian Menzies government welcomed the Dutch presence in the region as an "essential link" in its national defense since it also administrated a trust territory in the eastern half of New Guinea. Unlike the Labor Party which had supported the Indonesian nationalists, the Prime Minister Robert Menzies viewed Indonesia as a potential threat to its national security and distrusted the Indonesian leadership for supporting Japan during World War II.[60] In addition, New Zealand and South Africa also opposed Indonesia's claim to the territory. New Zealand accepted the Dutch argument that the Papuans were culturally different from the Indonesians and thus supported maintaining Dutch sovereignty over the territory until the Papuans were ready for self-rule. By contrast, newly independent India, another Commonwealth member supported Indonesia's position.[61]

Between 1954 and 1957, Indonesia and their Afro-Asian allies made three attempts to get the United Nations to intervene. All these three resolutions, however, failed to gain a two–thirds majority in the UNGA. On 30 November 1954, the Indian representative Krishna Menon initiated a resolution calling for Indonesia and the Netherlands to resume negotiations and to report to the 10th UNGA Session. This resolution was sponsored by eight countries (Argentina, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, India, Syria, and Yugoslavia) but failed to secure a two-thirds majority (34–23–3).[62] In response to growing tensions between Jakarta and the Hague, Indonesia unilaterally dissolved the Netherlands-Indonesian Union on 13 February 1956, and also rescinded compensation claims to the Dutch. Undeterred by this setback, Indonesia resubmitted the dispute to the UNGA agenda in November 1965.[63]

On 23 February 1957, a 13 country–sponsored resolution (Bolivia, Burma, Ceylon, Costa Rica, Ecuador, India, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, and Yugoslavia) calling for the United Nations to appoint a "good offices commission" for West New Guinea was submitted to the UNGA. Despite receiving a plural majority (40–25–13), this second resolution failed to gain a two-thirds majority. Undeterred, the Afro-Asian caucus in the United Nations lobbied for the dispute to be included on the UNGA agenda. On 4 October 1957, Indonesia's Foreign Minister Subandrio warned that Indonesia would embark on "another cause" if the United Nations failed to bring about a solution to the dispute that favoured Indonesia. That month, the PKI and affiliated trade unions lobbied for retaliatory economic measures against the Dutch. On 26 November 1957, a third Indonesian resolution on the West New Guinea dispute was put to the vote but failed to gain a two-thirds majority (41–29–11).

West Papua's national identity

Following the recent defeat at the UN, Indonesia embarked on a national campaign targeting Dutch interests in Indonesia;[64] leading to the withdrawal of the Dutch flag carrier KLM's landing rights, mass demonstrations, and the seizure of the Dutch shipping line Koninklijke Paketvaart-Maatschappij (KPM), Dutch-owned banks, and other estates. By January 1958, 10,000 Dutch nationals had left Indonesia, many returning to the Netherlands. This spontaneous nationalisation had adverse repercussions on Indonesia's economy, disrupting communications and affecting the production of exports. President Sukarno also abandoned efforts to raise the dispute at the 1958 UNGA, claiming that reason and persuasion had failed.[65] Following a sustained period of harassment against Dutch diplomatic representatives in Jakarta, Indonesia formally severed relations with the Netherlands in August 1960.[66]

In response to Indonesian aggression, the Netherlands stepped up its efforts to prepare the Papuans for self-determination in 1959. These efforts culminated in the establishment of a hospital in Hollandia (modern–day Jayapura), a shipyard in Manokwari, agricultural research sites, plantations, and a military force known as the Papuan Volunteer Corps. By 1960, a legislative New Guinea Council had been established with a mixture of legislative, advisory and policy functions had been established. Half of its members were to be elected and elections for this council were held the following year.[67] Most importantly, the Dutch also sought to create a sense of West Papuan national identity and these efforts led to the creation of a national flag (the Morning Star flag), a national anthem, and a coat of arms. The Dutch had planned to transfer independence to West New Guinea in 1970.[68]

Preparation for independence

By 1960, other countries in the Asia-Pacific had taken notice of the dispute and began proposing initiatives to end it. During a visit to the Netherlands, the New Zealand Prime Minister Walter Nash suggested the idea of a united New Guinea state, consisting of both Dutch and Australian territories. This idea received little support from both Indonesia and other Western governments. Later that year, the Malayan Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman proposed a three-step initiative, which involved West New Guinea coming under United Nations trusteeship. The joint administrators would be three non-aligned nations Ceylon, India, and Malaya, which supported Indonesia's position. This solution involved the two belligerents, Indonesia and the Netherlands, re-establishing bilateral relations and the return of Dutch assets and investments to their owners. However, this initiative was scuttled in April 1961 due to opposition from Indonesia's Foreign Minister Subandrio, who publicly attacked Tunku's proposal.[69]

By 1961, the Netherlands was struggling to find adequate international support for its policy to prepare West New Guinea for independent status under Dutch guidance. While the Netherlands' traditional Western allies—the United States, Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand—were sympathetic to Dutch policy, they were unwilling to provide any military support in the event of conflict with Indonesia.[70] On 26 September 1961, the Dutch Foreign Minister Joseph Luns offered to hand over the territory to a United Nations trusteeship. This proposal was firmly rejected by his Indonesian counterpart Subandrio, who likened the dispute to Katanga's attempted secession from the Republic of Congo during the Congo Crisis. By October 1961, Britain was open to transferring West New Guinea to Indonesia while the United States floated the idea of a jointly-administered trusteeship over the territory.[71]

Call for resumption of Dutch–Indonesian talks

On 23 November 1961, the Indian delegation at the United Nations presented a draft resolution calling for the resumption of Dutch–Indonesian talks on terms which favoured Indonesia. Two days later, several Francophone countries in Africa tabled a rival resolution which favoured an independent West New Guinea. Indonesia favoured India's resolution while the Dutch, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand supported the Francophone African one. On 27 November 1961, both the Francophone African (52–41–9) and Indian (41–40–21) resolutions were put to the vote, but neither succeeded in gaining a two–thirds majority at the UNGA. The failure of this final round of diplomacy in the UN convinced Indonesia to prepare for a military invasion.[72]

New York Agreement, UN administration and Act of Free Choice

Main article: New York Agreement

See also: West New Guinea dispute

By 1961, the United States had become concerned about the Indonesian military's purchase of Soviet weapons and equipment for a planned invasion of West New Guinea. The Kennedy administration feared an Indonesian drift towards Communism and wanted to court Sukarno away from the Soviet bloc and Communist China. The United States also wanted to repair relations with Jakarta, which had deteriorated due to the Eisenhower administration's covert support for regional uprisings in Sumatra and Sulawesi. These factors convinced the Kennedy administration to intervene diplomatically to bring about a peaceful solution to the dispute, which favored Indonesia.[73]

Throughout 1962, US diplomat Ellsworth Bunker facilitated top–secret high–level negotiations between Indonesia and the Netherlands. This produced a peace settlement known as the New York Agreement on 15 August 1962. As a face-saving measure, the Dutch would hand over West New Guinea to a provisional United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) on 1 October 1962, which then ceded the territory to Indonesia on 1 May 1963; formally ending the dispute. As part of the agreement, it was stipulated that a popular plebiscite would be held in 1969 to determine whether the Papuans would choose to remain in Indonesia or seek self-determination.[74] Implementation of Indonesian governance was followed by sporadic fighting between Indonesian and pro-Papuan forces until 1969.

Following the Act of Free Choice plebiscite in 1969, Western New Guinea was formally integrated into the Republic of Indonesia. Instead of a referendum of the 816,000 Papuans, only 1,022 Papuan tribal representatives were allowed to vote, and they were coerced into voting in favour of integration. While several international observers including journalists and diplomats criticised the referendum as being rigged, the U.S. and Australia support Indonesia's efforts to secure acceptance in the United Nations for the pro-integration vote. That same year, 84 member states voted in favour for the United Nations to accept the result, with 30 others abstaining.[75] A number of Papuans refused to accept the territory's integration into Indonesia, which anti-independence supporters and foreign observers attributed to the Netherlands' efforts to promote a West Papuan national identity among right-leaning Papuans and suppressed left-leaning Papuans pro-Indonesian sympathies.[76] These formed the separatist Organisasi Papua Merdeka (Free Papua Movement) and have waged an insurgency against the Indonesian authorities, which continues to this day.[77][78]

Timeline of major events post-referendum

Main article: Timeline of the Papua conflict

Current events

  • 19–23 January 2024: Between these dates TPNPB, under Apen Kobogau of the Intan Jaya faction, attacked numerous locations in Intan Jaya.[79] The attack began on 19 January with shootings at Bilogai Village staff, which killed Damai Cartenz personnel named Steven Karamoy in Mamba village, Sugapa District. On 20 January TPNPB attacked the TNI post belonging to Batalyon Yonif 330/TD. In this attack, Jaringan Belau, Oni Kobogau, and Agustia of TPNPB were shot by security officers. This information is based on police informants in Yoswa Maisani's group.[80] In retaliation, TPNPB burned local houses, including one belonging to a member of the Intan Jaya regional representative (DPRD). On 20–21 January TPNPB attacked an TNI post in Mamba Atas Village. In this attack, Yusak Sondegau was killed, Kanus Kogoya of TPNPB was shot, and Apriani Sani (a civilian) was shot but survived.[81] In retaliation, TPNPB burned houses belonging to Intan Jaya Regency. In this attack, Zakius Sondegau, a member of the TPNPB, was killed. In follow-up shootings between Damai Cartenz security personnel and TPNPB on 23 January, TPNPB members Melkias Matani and Harisatu Nambagani were killed.[79] There were disagreements regarding Yusak Sondegau's identity; some claimed he was a farmer from Yokatapa Village[80] or a government official in Buwisiga Village in Homeyo District,[81] while TNI spokesperson claimed he was member of KKB and had been on the criminal record as underling of Apen Kobogau and involved in previous attacks.[82]
  • 3 February 2024: Omukia public health center in Omukia District, Puncak Regency was attacked and burned by TPNPB Kepala Air faction under Jacky Murib. In the pursuit, Damai Cartenz personnel captured AM and Definus Kogoya, while Warinus Murib died from his injury; they were later identified as member of Numbuk Telenggen's group. In retaliation at night, TPNPB burned another public health center in Erobaga Village, Omukia District.[83] A video containing the torture of Kogoya in a barrel later went viral, the military police subsequently arrested 13 soldiers involved in the incident.[84][85]
  • 17 February 2024: A Wings Air ATR 72-600 PK-WJT flying from Sentani to Nop Goliat Dekai Airport in Yahukimo was shot from the direction of the Brazza River while landing. The bullet penetrated the aircraft and hit seat 19A, although no passengers or crews were harmed.[86] On February 23, Damai Cartenz personnel were involved in a shootout while conducting a sweep in the Brazza River and killed Otniel "Bolong" Giban, a member of Yotam Bugiangge's KKB group and capture MH (15) and BGE (15), who were designated as witnesses because both were underage. Captured with them were 74 rounds of 5.56 caliber ammunition and 2 SS1 magazines, cash totaling 3,050,000 rupiah, 1 solar cell, morning star noken, 2 Oppo cellphones, 1 Nokia cellphone, 1 wrench, 2 charging plugs, and 1 type C cable.[87]
  • 18 February 2024: Alenus "Kobuter" Tabuni member of Numbuk Telenggen's KKB group was captured in Ilaga District, Puncak, Central Papua. He was involved in the burning of PT Unggul basecamp; the killing of Udin, an ojek driver; the attack on Gome District head Nius Tabuni and shootings with TNI soldiers in Gome District, the burning of tourism buildings around Aminggaru airport in Ilaga District, the killing of Habel Alengpen, and other shootings.[88]
  • 1 March 2024: Sebby Sambom, claimed TPNPB had shot two people in Mamba Village, Intan Jaya: first a civilian by the name of Nelson Sani (15), who died immediately, and then a soldier who survived and underwent treatment. He claimed that Sani and his family were spies for Indonesian security forces. Nelson Sani was the cousin of Yunus 'Jabunemala' Sani, a civilian who was also killed by TPNPB on 29 May 2020 accused of being a spy.[89]
  • 20 March 2024: Two Papuan policemen, Bripda. Arnaldobert F. J. V. Yawan and Bripda. Sandi D. Sayuri were killed defending Helipad 99 in Ndeotadi, Baya Biru District, Paniai Regency, Central Papua from attack by Aibon Kogoya's KKB group (Dulamo Battalion).[90]
  • 30 March 2024: Jhonsep Salempang was assaulted to death by the Yahukimo faction of TPNPB led by Elkius Kobak at Bandara Road, Dekai, Yahukimo Regency, Highland Papua while working as a water gallon deliverer.[91]
  • 5 April 2024: A shootout with Damai Cartenz personnel in Kali Kabur, Mile 69, Tembagapura, Mimika Regency, led to the death of Abu Bakar Kogoya (alias Abu Bakar Tabuni) and Damianus Magay (alias Natan Wanimbo) of TPNPB-OPM from Intan Jaya faction of Undius Kogoya. ABK had been implicated in previous attacks such as the shooting of Bripda. Mufadol and Bripda. Almin and LWB car in 2017, and the killing of Graeme Thomas Weal, a New Zealander, and the injuring of two other civilians in 2020.[92][93]
  • 11 April 2024:
    • The Regional Military Commandant 1703 - 04 of Aradide district, 2nd Lt. Inf. Oktovianus Sogalrey was shot to death by the Paniai faction of OPM led by Matias Gobay.[94] The perpetrator, Anan Nawipa, was arrested by Cartenz's Peace personnels at the Bapauda village, Paniai Regency, Central Papua on 11 May, exactly a month after the incident.[95]
    • Damai Cartenz personnels shot dead two KKB members: Toni Wetapo, member of Yotam Bugiangge's KKB group, and Afrika Heluka, member of Kopi Tua Heluka's KKB group, and arrested 6 other people believed to be active KKB members in Yakuhimo Regency, Highland Papua. Toni Wetapo was involved in the 16 October 2023 killings of gold-diggers and 14 February 2024 shooting of Wings Air aircraft, while Afrika Heluka was involved in several notable KKB attacks of 2022 and 2023: the killing of Brigpol.Usnandar in 29 November 2022, the shootings of Damai Cartenz personnels in 30 November 2022, the attack on Yakuhimo Resort Police Force Headquarter in 30 Desember 2022, the attack on Dandim 1715/Yakuhimo in 1 March 2023, and the shooting of a Trigana Air aircraft in 11 March 2023.[96]

States that support self-determination

The following states have denounced the Act of Free Choice and/or support Papuan self-determination:

Leaders and groups that support self-determination


Name Country Political party Reference(s)
Abdoulaye Wade[a]  Senegal Senegalese Democratic Party [104]
Adam Bandt  Australia Australian Greens [105]
ʻAkilisi Pōhiva[b]  Tonga Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands [106][107]
Jeremy Corbyn  United Kingdom Labour Party [108]
John Kufour[c]  Ghana New Patriotic Party [109]
Jerry Rawlings[d]  Ghana National Democratic Congress [109]
Manasseh Sogavare[e]  Solomon Islands Independent [110]
Marama Davidson  New Zealand Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand [111]
Powes Parkop  Papua New Guinea Social Democratic Party [112]
Richard Di Natale  Australia Australian Greens [105][113]
Scott Ludlam  Australia Australian Greens [114]

Political parties

Name Country Reference(s)
Australian Communist Party  Australia [105]
Australian Greens  Australia [105]
Democratic Labour Party  Australia [115]
Socialist Party of Malaysia  Malaysia [116]

Other organisations

The International Parliamentarians for West Papua is an international political organisation that supports West Papuan independence.

See also


  1. ^ From a sample of 249 Papuan women, 6 women suffered illegal detentions, 7 women experienced torture, 3 women experienced attempted shooting, 4 women experienced sexual violence, 18 women had husbands/family members disappeared or killed, 2 women had husbands/family members detained, 35 women experienced loss or destruction of property, 22 women experienced loss of indigenous land, and 37 women experienced domestic violence
  2. ^ State violence is defined as illegal detentions, torture, attempted shooting, sexual violence, husbands/family members disappeared or killed, husbands/family members detained, loss or destruction of property, loss of indigenous land committed by state covering three periods of 1977–78, 2005, and 2007.


  1. ^ The current status of the Papuan pro-independence movement (PDF) (Report). IPAC Report. Jakarta: Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict. 24 August 2015. OCLC 974913162. Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 September 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  2. ^ "38 Year TPN-OPM No Unity and Struggle After the Reformation" (PDF). National Liberation Army of West Papua (TPNPB). 9 June 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 October 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  3. ^ Maran, Major Arm Fence D (2008). Anatomy of Separatists (PDF) (Report). Indonesian intelligence. Archived (PDF) from the original on 17 October 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Bantu KKB Papua, Batalion Relawan PNG Nyatakan Perang Lawan Indonesia". Manado Post. 10 May 2021. Archived from the original on 11 May 2021. Retrieved 29 January 2022.
  5. ^ "West Papua liberation movement announces provisional govt". RNZ. 3 December 2020. Archived from the original on 4 May 2020. Retrieved 29 December 2022.
  6. ^ Nedabang, Alfons (4 January 2023). "KKB Papua – Juru Bicara TPNPB Sebby Sambom: Kami Tidak Akui Benny Wenda dan Damianus Yogi" [KKB Papua – TPNPB Spokesman Sebby Sambom: We Don't Recognize Benny Wenda and Damianus Yogi]. Pos Kupang (in Indonesian). Retrieved 22 April 2023.
  7. ^ "13 years of Indonesian harassment, but KNPB's 'spirit remains unbroken'". Asia Pacific Report. 21 November 2022. Archived from the original on 27 December 2022. Retrieved 28 December 2022.
  8. ^ "KKB Papua Susun Kekuatan, Jumlah Anggota Diperkirakan 500 Orang".
  9. ^ "Anggota KKB Diperkirakan Berjumlah 600 Orang – Cenderawasih Pos".
  10. ^ a b c Pahlevi, Reza (16 June 2022). "Kekerasan di Papua Telan Ratusan Korban Jiwa, Mayoritas Warga Sipil" [Violence in Papua claims hundreds of lives, most of them civilians]. Databoks. Archived from the original on 11 October 2022. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  11. ^ a b Crocombe, R. G. (2007). Asia in the Pacific Islands: Replacing the West. Suva, Fiji: IPS Publications, University of the South Pacific. p. 287. ISBN 9789820203884. Archived from the original on 5 February 2023. Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  12. ^ Jacob, Frank (5 August 2019). Genocide and Mass Violence in Asia: An Introductory Reader. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG. p. 161. ISBN 978-3-11-065905-4.
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Further reading