Police take over Kapeso airstrip

Police take over Kapeso airstrip

Abridged in translation by TAPOL

Although the police have gained access to Kapeso Kampung in the province of Papua, the Morning Star Flag is still flying above the airstrip that has been occupied by a group led by Decky Imbiri (said to be from the TPN/OPM) since 13 May.

The chief of police, Drs FX Bagus Ekodanto is quoted as saying that they are keeping the airstrip under guard although the persons who launched the occupation are said to have left. He said that following an armed contact with the group in occupation they had taken over a church close by as well as the home of a cleric.

He said the police were focusing on or trying to restore the situation at the location to normal and making an inventory of the location, helped by the local government, community leaders and religious leaders. He said that there was no sign of the people who had carried out the occupation; they seem to have fled from the airstrip.

He confirmed that two members of the Decky group had died during the armed contact while two others were wounded. In addition, someone representing the district chief had also be shot dead by an unidentified person. But the police spokesman would not give the names of the victims.

One person who was arrested during the assault, Nela Yenseren , an elderly lady, is now being interrogated 'intensively' by the police, along with a 14-year-old person.

The armed clashes occurred when when eight Brimob officers were approaching the location, using a recorded plea from several church leaders from the Evangelical Church, calling on the crowd of people round the airstrip to abandon the Decky group. As the Brimob troops were approaching a nearby lake, they were attacked by people there. Four Brimob members were hit by arrows and sustained injuries. When they gained access to the area, they discovered that two people had been shot dead and two others were wounded., while a representative of the district chief was shot dead.