West Papua Information Kit

Myth: West Papua was invaded

Fact: There was no successful invasion of West Papua.
But from 1950 to 1962 Indonesia sent several incursions, just as they have been doing to PNG for the pass forty years.
Some Papuan people did see Indonesian troops with guns in Papua but for over a decade every Indonesian got arrested and sent back. The greatest military victory was a small village near Sorong was held by some PGT commandos in late May 1962. General Suharto and Indonesian military pride depend on the fiction that they won a military victory, but the truth is that the victory was by friends of Freeport Sulphur corporation manipulating John F Kennedy in Washingtion.. The incursions are listed below. Only since the New York Agreement has there been widespread murder and slaughter.

Myth: The Soviet Union was backing an Indonesian invasion

Fact: The Soviet Union had no interest in West Papua, they did not know about the mineral wealth which the American businessmen knew about. Washington had been funding the Indonesian military since 1949, in 1957 General Nasution ask Washington for $650m, Washington refused, so he ask Moscow for $250m. In 1958 Washington resume funding the Indonesia military.
Yes there were Soviet as well as US arms in Indonesia, but Sukarno didn't care which white people gave him money.
Moscow like Washington wanted ideological influence.
But Sukarno and the Freeport corporation wanted the Papuan gold and copper, the Cold War and now the War on Terrorism have been used as reasons to deny media coverage of the colonial abuse of West Papua. The Cold-War was used as a cover story for the United States to force the Netherlands to sell West Papua to Indonesian as a colony.

Myth: Netherlands could not hold West Papua if it was invaded

Fact: Every Indonesian incursion had been captured and held by the local Papuan people while they sent somebody to tell the Dutch that there were foreigners with guns to be evicted and sent back to Java. Indonesia did not have a professional army or means to deliver a force able to capture and hold cities or regions of this Pacific territory, see the below list of sad incursions.

Myth: The Indonesian people had always wanted West Papua

Fact: During the 1920s Sukarno dreamed of ruling the Majapahit empire and he wanted to call his version "Indonesia", when Japan invaded Sukarno was the only Javanese figure willing to aid the Axis war. In March 1945 Tokyo sent orders that Sukarno was to prepare for claiming the region as 'Indonesia', some three months later it was suggested that Indonesia would greatly increase its farming territory if it could claim West New Guinea.

The only reason the Generals told the Javanese public that Papua wanted to be part of Indonesia was because the Generals wanted to grab the land.

Indonesian Incursions against West Papua

The Attacks
The Units
The Equipment


This is a listing from US and Australian publications of known Indonesian military operations against the people and nation of West Papua. Although the Indonesian attacks 1950-1962 may appear inept and amature productions by mordern standards of insurgency and warfare; the intent to remove the West New Guinea Council government and the disregard of Papua's human rights can not be denied.

During previous centuries there had been repeated Asian piracy efforts to kidnap Papuan people as slaves; during the WW-II Japanese invasion too many Papuan people had suffered at the hands of an enemy working with Sukarno and his Javanese militia. As the only pre-1950 West Papuan experience of Java was and continues to consist of Asian piracy, and as an Axis power and oil supplier; it is difficult to understand why Indonesia believed the US and other populations would view its demands for Western New Guinea as anything other than a neo-colonial land grab.

U.S. and Australian policy makers should also consider the traditional fashion by which the Javanaese military elite have manipulated the United States and others into supplying equipment, military Aid, and political endorsement.

The Insurgencies 

6 men landed at Sansapor on the north coast, they were quickly arrested (*).
Jan 1952
Landing by boat on West New Guinea's Gag Island, the New York Times reports Dutch saying 43 men were arrested by local police (*), though other references say 28 men; the Indonesian men are quickly spotted and arrested.
May 1953
17 Indonesians the Dutch claim were soldiers from a Celebes (Sulawesi) detachment with a Papuan guide land near Fakfak; intercepted by Dutch marines, the leading sergeant and two others were shot before others were arrested and sentenced to one to six year in prison (*).
Oct 1953
21 armed men of the 25th Indonesian Infantry Regiment trained in guerrilla warfare and another 21 locals recruited from Aru Island entered Etna Bay flying a Dutch flag and proceeded inland. Intercepted by marines, four were shot, five killed by Papuan natives, and twenty eight arrested during first two months. Eventualy eleven died and the others were sentenced to four years before being returned to Indonesia (*).
9 Nov 1960
After ten men desert the Pasukan Gerilya 100 unit lands along the southern coast with 23 insurgents; after local Papuans report seeing armed intruders 16 were captured and 7 were shot during the next four months.
14 Sep 1961
Pasukan Gerilya 200 unit lands 32 insurgents with morta, grenades and Lee Enfield rifles near Sorong; quickly spotted by local Papuans 29 were captured, 2 shot, and one believe eaten by crocodiles during three months attempting to evade capture.
15 Jan 1962
Pasukan Gerilya 300 leaves Jakarta with approx. 115 insurgents on four Jaguar class torpedo boats, three boats reached the Aru Sea where two Dutch destroyers pursued them and sunk the lead boat with Commodore Yos Sudarso. 51 survivors were picked up, detained until March and with UN aid (*) repatiated to Java when they commenced training for PG-400 insurgency in May/1962.

The Attacks

On 2nd Jan 1962 Indonesia ordered the creation of the Mandala Command headed by Brig. General Suharto to control operations against West Papua. Although intending to continue the military effort into 1963 with Operasi Jaya Wijaya, this proved unneccessary once the "pro-Indonesia group at the Whitehouse" convinced the US President to coerce the Netherlands to sign the "New York Agreement". The Mandala Command decided to continue Pasukan Gerilya 300 infiltation efforts.
Mar 1962
A Pasukan Gerilya 300 unit using motorised canoes take cover on Gag Island after been seen; they were soon captured.
Mar 1962
A Pasukan Gerilya 300 unit using motorised canoes take cover near Waigeo Island before one was eaten by sharks while trying to return to Java before being captured.
26 Apr 1962
40 guerrilla paratroopers of DPC Team 3 flew by Dakotas towards Fak-Fak; the first guerrilla was arrested after asking a Papuan on a canoe for help and who was delivered instead to the Police. Three months later the last insurgent was arrested.
26 Apr 1962
32 guerrilla paratroopers of DPC Team 4 flew by Dakotas towards Kaimana; evaded capture for almost three months but whose commander Lieut. Heru Sisnodo's diary was also captured, translated in part sayinng:
"I am disillusioned because I did not select these [PGT] that face this tough operation and I cry because the Papuans do not support us. They do not give us food: we must look for our own food or barter with our valuable equipment. They report our movements to the Dutch."
15-25 May 1962
PGT commandos and army paratroopers jump near Fak-Fak; 20 Police rangers approach coastline with speedboats; PGT and army paratroopers jump near Kaimana; and PGT commandos jump near Sorong while Pasukan Gerilya 400 made a sea landing. The Police rangers were arrested on route to the beach, some PGT commandos held a small village shortly near Sorong while the rest of the parachutists were quickly captured or fleeing capture.

The Units 

Kopassus as the most infamous and feared Indonesian forces, deserves special mention. Although a military Special Forces unit, the primary selection criteria is closer to the old Soviet Political Officer criteria, a dedication to the State which over-rides other considerations.

With a single minded duty to maintain or enforce unity of the State, the Kopassus units have an unequal record in quelling civil movements and populations suspected of supporting independence interests. Kopassus remains one of Indonesia's trump cards for retaining the twenty seven Provinces outside of Java.

KOPASSUS / Special Forces names since 1950
Kesatuan Komando Territorium 111  
Korps Komando AD1953KKAD
Resimen Pasukan Komando AD1954RPKAD
Resimen Para Komando AD1959RPKAD
Pusat Pasukan Khusus AD1960PUSPASSUS AD
Korps Pasukan Sandhi Yudha1971KOPASANDHA

Indonesian murder and slaughter of West Papuan citizens 1963 - 2008

These incidents and others like them are the reason West Papua is the scene of an on-going genocide as explained in studies such as "Indonesian Human Rights Abuses in West Papua: Application of Law of Genocide to the History of Indonesian Control", a paper prepared for the Indonesian Human Rights Network by the Allard K Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, Yale Law School.
  • 1966: Rev. Koibut stripped naked and forced to simulate masturbation in front of his family
  • 1966-67: Aerial bombing of Arfak Mountain homelands
  • Jan-Mar 1967: Aerial bombing of Ayamaru and Teminabuan homelands
  • 1967: Mr Permenas Frits Awom, laid down his arms during amnesty, put on boat for 6hr trip from Manokwari to Biak, boat returned 2 hours later without Permenas.
  • 1967: Operasi Tumpas (operation obliteration). 1,500 killed in Ayamaru, Teminabuan and Inanuatan villages.
  • 1967-1968: Mr Godfried Mirino, member of New Guinea Council taken from his home by unknown persons, never seen since
  • Apr 1969: Aerial bombing of Wissel Lake District (Paniai and Enarotali area); 14,000 survivors escape into the jungle.
  • May 1969: Mr Penehas Torey, member of New Guinea Council taken by military from his home in Jayapura was never seen again. Moses Werror (now in exile) was last person to have seen him.
  • Secret War 'SLAUGHTER' in W. Irian 1969 June 2 - New Zealand newspaper - Reuter
    The Indonesian Army has slaughtered thousands of primitive tribesmen in an unreported war in West Irian, according to the British Sunday newspaper the Observer. . . .
  • May 1970: Massacre of many women and children by Indonesian troops. Eighty witnesses reported seeing one woman gutted, her unborn baby removed & dissected on ground, the baby's aunt was then pack-raped.
  • Jun 1971: Mr Henk de Mari reported that 55 men from two villages in North Biak were forced to dig their own graves before being shot. Published in Dutch daily De Telegraaf Oct 1974.
  • Unknown: 500 Papuan corpses found in jungle Lereh District, south west of Sentani Airport, Jayapura region.
  • 1974: In North Biak, 45 Papuans killed, names and ages known.
  • 1975: In Biak, at least 41 people from Arwam and Rumbin villages were killed.
  • 1977: Aerial bombing of Akimuga (Freeport McMoRan Inc. mine area).
  • 1977-78: Rev. Father Tettoroo (Dutch catholic) forced by ABRI to eat human penis and cut off an OPM fighter shot dead in Paniai Wissel Lake District
  • 1977-78: Aerial bombing of Baliem Valley.
  • Mar 1978: Four women from Piramid village as sex slaves for one month before dry battery acid stuffed into vaginas and returned to village. Performed by ABRI Unit 752, 753 and Police under command of Colonel Albert Dieng.
  • Apr 1978: Six unidentifiable bodies were discovered in the Dosai district of Jayapura.
  • May 1978: Five OPM (Organisasi Papua Merdeka) leaders surrender to save the village they were caught in. They are beaten to death with red hot iron bars and their bodies thrown into a pit latrine. The 125 villagers were then machine gunned as suspected OPM sympathizers.
  • Jun 1978: 14 corpses found shot, West of Sentani Airport, Jayapura region.
  • Jun 1978: 6 women pack-raped, shot, and then had their vaginas stuffed with sweet potato leaves and red berries after death following suspicion of collaboration with OPM. Babuma Village, Kelila District, Jayawijaya.
  • Jul 1978: 122 people (116 mean, six women) fled into jungle with ABRI (Indonesian "red beret" military) in pursuit. The villagers were captured, had their hands and feet bound, were weighted and bagged, then dumped at sea. Merauke area.
  • Sep 1979: Mr Izack Samuel Fatahan, Musician and businessman who had attempted asylum in PNG to join his family, went hunting with a Captain Coreles, Mr Fatahan never returned.
  • Unknown: North Biak, 12 people shot after receiving permission to leave camp to collect sago for a village feast.
  • 1981: 10 killed, 58 disappear without trace. Paniai Region.
  • Jun-Aug 1981: Operasi Sapuh bersih (Operation Clean Sweep), populations of Ampas-Waris and Batte-Arso villages bayoneted and left.
  • Sep-Dec 1981: estimated 13,000 killed in the central highlands.
  • Jul 1984: Naval, air, and ground troop assult of Nagasawa/Ormo Kecil village, 200 dead.
  • Unknown: Naval shelling of Taronta, Takar, and Masi-Masi coastal villages; suvivors fled towards Jayapura; under Dutch in 1950 each village had 1500 to 2000 population.
  • mid 1985: 2,500 killed in Paniai area of Wissel Lake district, including 115 from Iwandoga and Kugapa villages massacred by troops 24/6/1985; 10 people, the village, food gardens, and livestock of Epomani village, Obano Sub-district; 15 people, village, and livestock of Ikopo village Monemane district; and 517 people, 12 villages, food gardens, and live-stock of Monemane.
  • 1986-87: 34 known persons shot, Paniai/Wissel Lake District.
  • Dec 1994: Christmas day, civilian Mr Nogogamakme Mem (31) shot in the back while hiding near church, he feared the soldiers guarding the entrance
  • Dec 1994: civilian Mr Wendi Tabuni (23) stabbed in abdomen and shot in head; body dumped in river gorge on the Tembagapura.
  • Jul 1998: Troops shoot 150 sleeping under West Papuan flag for four hours before hauling other residents from homes for torture and rape before dumping bodies at sea by naval gunships. Initial reports,Later details
  • 2000 Prison, Torture and Murder in Jayapura for illegal journalism
  • Nov 2001: Papua Praesidium Council Chairman, Chief Theys Eluay is kidnapped and murdered. New reports
  • Oct 2002: tour guide abducted by Kopassus (Indonesian Special Forces) at Sentani (Jayapura's airport), kept in small room at Kopassus HQ and fed only salt water for 14 days while tortured. With deep, barely healed bayonet scars cross his back where he was sliced, he says his interrogators accused him of having links with the Free Papua Movement, OPM. That as they were doing this, they said, "You cannot get independence. During 2003, 2004 we will kill all Papuan leaders for independence." From Sydney Newspaper Mar 2003
  • Mar 2003: Thom Beanal successor to Theys Eluay, says, "We are getting used to the intimidation now. We get SMS (phone messages) all the time saying that we will be killed."Newspaper
  • May 2003: up to 10 highland villages were burned and at least 20 people were killed by Jemaah Islamiah or Laskar Jihad groups. News, talk.

External links

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
- Edmund Burke (1729-1797)