Dozens of Teacher Evacuated from Kampung Aroanop, Tembagapura District

After three days of conflict with the armed separatist group, on Thursday (19/4) Indonesian armed forces managed to evacuate dozens of teachers from Kampung (Village) Aroanop, Tembagapura District to the capital of Mimika Regency in Timika. Out of a total of 18 teachers, 13 have been evacuated. The other five are still waiting for the evacuation process.

The operation was led by Colonel Infantry Frits Pelamonia. Army troops were divided into 4 teams and managed to infiltrate and surround the area around the Aroanop since Thursday morning at 05.30 WIT. Knowing their position was surrounded the separatist group ran scattered and fled to the north towards Kampung Jagamin.

Having control over Arwanop village, rescue teams from the Indonesian army soon rescue teachers who had been collected and guarded by local residents at the home of Arwanop village chief Mr. Yonatan Beanal.

Rescue teams found the teachers of the victims of acts of abuse and rape of OPN OPM in a very poor condition. The teachers looked very frightened, depressed and anxious. The rape victim also suffered severe depression. There were bruises and wounds on the teacher’s face due to severe persecution by separatist group a few days earlier.

The teachers were immediately transported by army helicopter and flown to Timika. A total of 13 teachers consisting of 7 male teachers and 6 female teachers were successfully evacuated on Thursday morning at around 09.05. While the rest of 5 teachers have not been successful in evacuation due to weather condition in Aroanop.

The teachers who are still in Arwanop are currently guarded by the army. Arriving in Timika, female teachers were immediately rushed to Charitas Hospital, Kuala Kencana District, Mimika for medical examination and care. The rest of the teacher will be evacuated on Friday (20/4). However, Frits and Kodam XVII / Cendrawasih cannot provide certainty of departure time from Timika because it is impossible to fly helicopter in a bad weather condition.

According to Frits Pelamonia, the group is a joint Papuan separatist who used to move from Ilaga in Puncak regency. In addition, they are also used to working with other groups from Puncak Jaya. Therefore, he is very grateful as his team was able to evacuate dozens of teachers from Aroanop.

One of the teacher named Rano Samsul said that he witnessed how dozens of armed separatist members move quickly entering Aroanop.

“So, they went into the village quickly and held us for 45 minutes,” he explained. Rano admitted he did not know the purpose of their action.


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