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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (December 29, 2000 – Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---In the early hours of November 28, Elimar Gombo of Wamena in Indonesian-ruled West Papua fled his home in Jayapura in fear of his life.

The Brimok (Indonesian mobile police) were constantly checking Mr. Gombo through the days leading up to December 1, West Papua’s self declared Independence day.

Mr. Gombo was coordinating activities for the OPM (Free Papua Movement) and like others from Abe, Waina, Sentani and Yapse, they were being constantly monitored by the Brimok.

Many others, wives, husbands, brothers and sisters had been taken away, never to return. Many others had survived but had suffered a permanent injury, including losing all fingers or an eye.

Now a border crosser at Holy Cross community school in Vanimo, Mr. Gombo spoke through interpreter Oscar Gunto about how he escaped. Mr. Gunto is from West Papua too but he moved to Vanimo some years back and has mastered "Tok Pisin."

Mr. Gombo said all OPM activists’ homes were mapped out and monitored at odd hours around the clock by the Brimok.

He said they were constantly harassed and threatened by the Indonesians so he had to sneak into his house at night for food and spend some minutes with his family before going back to bush.

Mr. Gombo had to sleep in different places every night because the net created by the Indonesia was effective.

This included bribing West Papuans to spy against their own kind so he had to be really careful all the time.

Mr. Gombo fled first with his family to Wutung on the PNG/Indonesia border and they were later joined by two truckloads of men, women and children.

For a few days, they were in "no man’s land" and were easy targets for the enemies until they were brought to Vanimo under the care of the Catholic Church. He said to return home would mean certain death at the hands of the Indonesians.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: 

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