Timika Ambush

According to the Washington Post, Indonesian police admit that the Indonesian military killed American teachers in Papua in 2002 and blamed the murders on a Papuan separatist group in order to get that group listed as a terrorist organization.

Timika Ambush

Police have told senior Indonesian military officials they believe Indonesian soldiers were responsible for the Aug. 31 ambush near a copper and gold mine in Papua province that killed two Americans and an Indonesian, according to a senior military officer and a high- ranking intelligence officer.

I Made Pastika, who until recently headed the investigation as Papua police chief, told Maj. Gen. Sulaiman, the Indonesian military police commander, and another high-ranking army officer who visited Papua about a week ago that the police suspect soldiers carried out the attack near a mine owned by Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. of New Orleans, the senior Indonesian military officer said.

In his statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia  and Pacific Affairs, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Eric G. John stated that “... Papua has suffered from separatist conflict and serious human rights abuses. The  Indonesian government has not fully implemented the 2001 Special Autonomy Law  that was designed to address political and economic grievances.” John also pointed  out that President Yudhoyono had “vowed to peacefully resolve the longstanding
conflict in Papua” and pledged to “fully implement Special Autonomy.” Timika.

In August 2002, two Americans and an Indonesian working for the PT Freeport mine, a subsidiary of the New Orleans based Freeport McMoRan Cooper and Gold Inc., were killed in an ambush near Timika, Papua. The incident occurred on a road with military checkpoints leading to the Freeport mine and reportedly took place over at least a 30-minute period. To date, circumstances surrounding the Timika attack remain unclear.

The two Americans killed were teachers at the International School at Tembagapura near Timika in Papua. They, and their family and friends, came under attack while on a picnic outing. Indonesian police indicated at one point early in the investigation that elements from the Indonesian military may have been involved in the attack. Some of those who believe that elements of the military may have played a role believe that it could have been done in an effort to discredit the Free Papua Movement (OPM) which seeks independence for Papua. Some pro-Papuan independence supporters believe Anthonius Wamang, who is believed to be an OPM operational commander and has been indicted for the attack in the United States, may have been an informer to the Indonesian Military (TNI).