Lani villagers in hiding from Indonesian army

August 31, 2005

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Lani tribesman Benny Wenda, who is living as a refugee in the UK, reports today that the people of his home village in Pyramid, Papua, are still in hiding after the army attacked in July.

The small village of Moragame has been abandoned since the army attacked as the people are hiding in the jungle, too afraid to return to their homes. Soldiers continue to patrol the area, intimidating people.

Earlier this year, at least fifty people died from starvation and disease when forced to flee their homes and gardens in a similar incident in the village of Nggweyage in which three people were killed.

Soldiers attacked Moragame and shot two men, who disappeared into the jungle and have not been seen since. They also cut the face and body of Benny's brother Petto Wenda with a razor and a knife before pouring petrol on his head and setting him on fire. He is recovering slowly.

Papuan Tribes