Closing (the bank’s branch offices) and withdrawing our employees are indeed a difficult decision we have made
Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) – The regional development lender Bank Pembangunan Daerah (BPD) Papua suspended its operational activities in Puncak District, Central Papua Province, following a deadly shooting that killed an employee on Tuesday.
“We have withdrawn all of our employees in Sinak Sub-district and shut down our branch offices until further notice,” BPD Papua’s Operation Director, Isak Wopari, told ANTARA here on Wednesday.
The operational activities are suspended in the sub-districts of Ilaga, Beoga, and Sinak of Puncak District until the regional administration provides BPD Papua with a security guarantee, he remarked.
The suspension has been made effective since Wednesday, Dec 14, for security reasons.
“Closing (the bank’s branch offices) and withdrawing our employees are indeed a difficult decision we have made,” he stated.
Wopari said he is indeed aware of the locals’ need for cash ahead of the Christmas and New Year holiday period.
“However, the lives of our employees are more valuable. Hence, our operational activities will be conducted from Timika,” he noted.
On Tuesday, an armed Papuan separatist terrorist operating in Sinak Sub-district killed a BPD Papua’s employee named Demian Yumame.
His body was moved to Timika, the capital of Mimika District, to be then flown to Sorong City for burial, according to Commander of the 173/PVB Resort Military Command Brig. Gen. Sri Widodo.
He told ANTARA that Yumame was shot dead at close range while he was at the Sinak market area.
“The bullet hit his head,” according to Widodo, whose administrative areas include the districts of Biak, Supiori, Waropen, and Kepulauan Yapen in Papua Province as well as the districts of Nabire, Deiyai, Dogiyai, Paniai, Intan Jaya, Puncak, and Puncak Jaya in Central Papua Province.
The security personnel are still hunting down the attacker, Widodo remarked.
Papua has been witnessing a relentless cycle of violence over the past few years, with armed groups in the districts of Intan Jaya, Nduga, and Puncak targeting civilians and security personnel.
Intan Jaya recorded its bloodiest month in September 2020 when armed groups launched a series of attacks in the area that claimed the lives of two soldiers and two civilians and left two others injured.
On September 17, 2020, Papuan rebels tortured and killed a 49-year-old Ojek motorcycle taxi driver, identified as Badawi.
On September 13, 2020, armed separatists opened fire at two Ojek drivers in the Sugapa area, but the drivers managed to survive the attack.
The acts of terror have continued unabated this year.
On December 5, 2022, members of an armed Papuan group, operating in Pegunungan Bintang District, Papua Pegunungan Province, shot dead three ojek (motorcycle taxi) drivers.
The slain civilians were identified as La Usu (23), La Ati (40), and La Aman (39). They were all ojek drivers, according to Commander of the 172/PWY Military Resort Command Brig. Gen. J. O. Sembiring.
Papua Police Chief Insp. Gen. Mathius Fakhiri urged residents in the remote Pegunungan Tengah area to remain alert for attacks launched by Papuan separatist terrorists.
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