Victor Mambor: TPNPB-OPM is a Freedom Fighter, not a Terrorist

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JAYAPURA, SUARAPAPUA.com — Papuan Senior Journalist, Victor Mambor asserted that the West Papua National Liberation Army [TPNPB] or Free Papua Organization [OPM] is a Freedom Fighter, cannot be categorized or called as a terrorist.

This was confirmed by Mambor in a webinar event with the theme of PAKAR Discussion Series 7 — Terrorists or Armed Violence Groups? Which is PAKAR with the title on Thursday (07/16/2020).

Victor explained that if we refer to the definitions of academics and the law that terrorism is an element of violence, terror, there is an intention to disturb the government and so on.

“They [TPNPB] are an armed wing of the [military] group of the OPM. Its history is quite clear. If suddenly mentioned as a terrorist, I think it is baseless,” said Mambor.

Then, he also said, TPNPB-OPM existed because of historical issues [Indonesia entered Papua while in Papua there was a group that disagreed with Pepera] and then fought against Indonesia.

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“They carried out guerrillas in the forest, carried out armed movements. But there is a political wing that does political lobbying and diplomacy. I think it will be difficult if we call it a terrorist,” he explained.

He continued, TPNPB-OPM had never carried out attacks outside Papua and also had never carried out mass attacks. Then, when referring to the academic and legal definitions, TPNPB-OPM who are guerrillas in the forests in Papua were difficult to categorize as terrorists.

“The statement that the TPNPB-OPM is carrying out attacks, violence and persecution against the people of Papua also needs to be questioned. That is true or not. Because based on my experience, the problem is massive disinformation in Papua,” he explained.

KKB in the online discussion was interpreted as the Armed Violence Group. However, in his experience, Victor said, in Papua the KKB was defined as the Armed Criminal Group (KKB). Ahccording to him, KKB is an old term that continues to be repeated. In addition, the new terminology is the KKSB whose definition is the Armed Separatist Criminal Group.

When viewed comprehensively, TPNPB-OPM [which in this discussion is called KKB] has a clear background.

Said Victor, this group [TPNPB -OPM] has a clear target. The TPNPB-OPM target in Papua is the Indonesian [TNI and Polri] security forces.

“The target is clearly the security forces. They faced the authorities. So in my opinion they can be called freedom fighters. They have political wings too. So actually we can call them freedom fighters,” he said.

The former Chairperson of Jayapura City’s AJI admitted that when meeting with OPM figures in the jungle of Papua several times, they became guerrillas with clear reasons and goals.

“Thisegation from the political wing to them is also clear. They fight for the name of Free Papua,” he explained.

The fundamental reason that became the basis of his argument to state that OPM is not a terrorist, said Victor, when viewed internationally it is very difficult to name one group as terrorist.

“Because three are 12 criteria that must be met so that a group can be included as a terrorist group. Many things must be fulfilled. GAM (Free Aceh Movement) who have committed terror in Jakarta alone is still difficult to be called a terrorist,” he explained.

If you look at the anatomy, he said, TPNPB-OPM is quite clear. Because, it has bases in almost all of Papua’s land. Although, active moves are currently in the mountains.

“But their group is almost everywhere in Papua. They have an intelligence network, and they are well organized. The goal is very clear. They exist and have representative offices,” added Victor.

Another reason is that TPNPB-OPM has political representative offices. In its development, the name was OPM, but now. The name is ULMWP.

ULMWP is a variety of groups that merge into one joint movement despite friction between them. But with the merging of this group they can be well coordinated, not just lobbying politics, not just violence.

“I don’t think OPM can place OPM as a terrorist. This is also what I emphasize, we must look at the information well before concluding that this is an armed group or any group. In my experience, this group should be called the freedom fighters group,” concluded Victor. (*)

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