Calls for healthworker, teacher evacuations after Papua attack
Published on: Tuesday, September 21, 2021
By: Antara News
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Survivors of an attack by Papuan separatists last Monday disembark an army helicopter.
JAKARTA: Befa Yigibalom, the Lanny Jaya district head, called for evacuating health workers and teachers currently stationed in Kiwirok Sub-district, Pegunungan Bintang District, to a safer place.

There was no other option, so the Pegunungan Bintang district head should immediately evacuate health workers and teachers from remote Kiwirok to Oksibil Sub-district, the district’s capital, Yigibalom, concurrently chairman of the Association of District Heads of Papua’s Central Mountainous Region, noted in a press statement.

Papua’s Central Mountainous Region covers the districts of Lanny Jaya, Cental Mamberamo , Yalimo, Jayawijaya, Nduga, Tolikara, Yahukimo, Pegunungan Bintang, Puncak Jaya, and Puncak, among others.

The association has condemned the brutal attacks on healthcare workers and expressed condolences to the family of a fallen nurse killed during the brutalities committed by attackers.

“The Association of District Heads of Papua’s Central Mountainous Region strongly condemns the incident,” he affirmed.

He urged the security authorities to arrest the attackers and called on legal enforcers to punish them in line with the existing laws.

“The escalation in Pegunungan Bintang must be dealt with seriously by every concerned party and strict but measurable actions must be taken to prevent similar incidents of violence from reoccurring,” he stated.

A nurse, identified as Gabriela Meilan, 22, was killed during the attack by separatists, who set ablaze the Kiwirok community health center (Puskesmas), doctors’ and nurses’ houses, school buildings, and other public structures on Sept 13.

The armed attackers chased several healthcare workers and then attempted to get hold of several of them, who jumped into a ravine to escape.

Meilan and three other nurses, including Marselinus Ola Atanila, 35, ran and jumped into a ravine while being chased by separatists, Atanila, who survived the attacked, recalled after being evacuated to Jayapura, Papua, along with nine other survivors, including a military officer, whose hand was shot by the attackers.

Atanila stated that while hiding, she witnessed the brutality of the attackers, who went down to the ravine to chase and catch the three nurses. The separatists took off the nurses’ clothes completely, tortured them, and stabbed one of the naked victims. The three victims were later pushed further down into the ravine.

Meilan was later found dead, with the two others injured.

Some 250 healthcare workers staged a demonstration in Oksibil condemning the brutal attacks and urging the security authorities to protect health workers in Papua. 


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