Satgas Merah Putih (Indonesia)

Country: Indonesia
Details of Formation: The first activity is reported on 21 March 2000. The group was established in Fak Fak by Ismael Bauw, formerly the Administrative Head (or Bupati) of Mimika District. There are no further details about its creation (eventual military involvement). It emerged as an army-supported anti-independence militia in West Papua.
Details of Termination: It remains unclear if the militia is still active or not. There is no mention past 2005.
Purpose: The group was mainly used for attacks against the independence movement in Papua. The goal was to create conflict between pro- and anti-independence groups in order to legitimise a military intervention against pro-independence fighters.
Organisation: The group was supported by the security forces and cooperated with the police and military. Its leader Yapmorey had links to the military. Financial resources came from military hardliners and the military itself, which also provided logistical support. There were links to the central authorities through the provincial government.
Weapons and Training: The militia was armed with guns, machetes and bamboo sticks. There are also reports that the military funded and provided training for the group.
Size: --
Reason for Membership: There were apparently material rewards such as safari suits, money and trips for members of the group.
Treatment of Civilians: The group contributed to an escalation of the conflict between groups in favour of and against Papuan independence. In addition, it attacked civilians, destroyed their houses and stole from them. Prisoners were tortured, abused and beaten by the militia, with cooperation from the police.
Other Information: The militia’s name translates to the “Red and White Taskforce”.
References: Amnesty International. 2000. “Indonesia: Impunity persists in Papua as militia groups take root.” AI Index: ASA 21/34/00

Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD.