Five armed Papuan rebels surrender, swear allegiance to Indonesia

A Papuan student with her face painted with the colours of the separatist 'Morning Star' flag shouts slogans during a rally near the presidential palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, on August 29. CREDIT: AP. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

JAYAPURA, Jul 23, 2020, ANTARA. Five armed Papuan rebels of the Puron Wenda-led separatist group declared their allegiance to the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia in Wame Village, Bruwa Subdistrict, Lanny Jaya District, Papua Province, Wednesday (July 22), ANTARA reported.

They swore allegiance to Indonesia in the presence of the Indonesian task force personnel and community members of Balingga Sub-district, spokesman of the Joint Regional Defense Command (Kogabwilhan) III Colonel Gusti Nyoman Suriastawa stated on Thursday.

The five armed Papuan rebels, who quit the notorious separatist group, were identified as Vandem Wonda, Dekiron Tabuni, Ibetius Tabuni, Terkis Tabuni alias Yuborak Telenggan, and Delis alias Dua Tabuni, he noted.

Vandem Wonda and Ibetius Tabuni had also been involved in gunfights with Indonesian soldiers, while Dekiron Tabuni had supplied logistics to rebels, and Terkis Tabuni and Delis had partaken in an attack on the Pirime police precinct, he pointed out.

While surrendering to the Indonesian army personnel, they handed over a walkie-talkie for communicating with the Puron Wenda-led separatist group members and two 12.7-calibre bullets that they had obtained from the gunfights, Suriastawa remarked.

The deputy commander of the Mobile YPR 305/TKR Border Security Task Force handed over the Red and White flag to the five ex-members of the armed Papuan separatist group to mark their allegiance to Indonesia.

Simultaneously, they also signed a letter declaring their exit from the separatist group and loyalty to the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, he noted.

These ex-rebels surrendered to the Indonesian soldiers when the task force’s Bangau Company personnel were conducting their routine in Wame Village, Bruwa Sub-district. Accompanied by a local village head, they surrendered themselves.

They swore allegiance to Indonesia owing to their keenness to remain united with their family members in the village without fear of being chased by the army and police personnel owing to acts of crimes against security personnel and civilians.

The armed Papuan rebels had continued to engage in repeated exchanges of fire with the Indonesian military and police personnel. The rebels had also launched deadly attacks on civilians over the past years and killed several them.

The Papua Police recorded that during the period from early January to December 28, 2019, a total of 23 shooting and criminal cases involving the armed Papuan groups had claimed the lives of 10 members of the Indonesian police and military as well as 10 civilians.

The armed Papuan criminals committed such criminal acts in the administrative areas of the districts of Puncak Jaya, Jayawijaya, Mimika, and Paniai in 2019, Papua Police Chief Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw stated on December 28, 2019.

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