Tribratanews.polri.go.id – Papua. Tinus Janwarin, one of the 15 construction workers who were evacuated by the Cartenz Peace Operation Task Force in District Paro in Nduga Regency, shared his traumatic experience with the Armed Criminal Group (KKB) led by Egianus Kogoya.
He recalled that the Kogoya group had been intimidating the workers every day while they were building the healthcare center by verbal threats and by burning their personal belongings.
He explained how the KKB’s threats had instilled fear in the workers, preventing them from carrying out their duties unless they received permission from the criminal group. The local community members had also warned the contractors and their supervisors not to leave their homes at night, as the KKB was closely monitoring their movements.
“The foreman told us not to leave our houses. After the KKB performed their rituals, we would know if we could continue our work. For our safety, we should stay put. We were all scared. We could not start the construction until the KKB gave us permission,” he added.
In February 2023, while working on the second phase of the health center’s construction, Kogoya had lost his phone or handheld radio, which resulted in his outrage being directed at the workers and the Paro District community. The workers were instructed to leave the area and search for the lost item, but eventually, they were relocated to a village hall with the help of the contractors.
As the situation deteriorated, the contractors and the KKB reached an agreement that led to the workers’ evacuation from Paro. With the help of the Indonesian Military and Indonesian National Police (INP), the workers were airlifted to safety via a three-day journey that commenced on February 6th and ended on February 8th, 2023.
“The foreman and the contractor had a meeting. We did not know what they talked about. They gave us two days to leave Paro through Kenyam, a path that goes through the forest. The contractor paid for the materials, and we left on Monday,” he said.
He said that he was relieved when the helicopter was heard and it was known that they were safe when they were in the helicopter. It was the Chief of Nduga Sub-Regional Police who along with the Indonesian Military had saved and evacuated them to Timika.