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Helicopter Attacks

Thales Rockets destroy West Papuan churches, homes and food gardens

 

French multinational arms company Thales sold rockets to the Indonesian government. These rockets were fired from helicopters operated by the Indonesian military. The rockets exploded in Ogimbe (also known as Ogimba) village in Intan Jaya on 3 January 2020, destroying church buildings, homes and food gardens. One of the rockets used in the attack on Ogimbe village failed to explode. Photographic evidence of the rocket was posted on social media and distributed to human rights groups. Church leaders reported that congregations had been attacked and buildings destroyed. Further photographs emerged in February and March of the same rockets used in attacks on villages in the highland region.

The unexploded rocket was identified as an FZ68 motor, an unguided air to ground rocket that is designed to be fired from helicopters. The rocket was traced back to the Belgian company Forges de Zeebrugge, a subsidiary of the French arms company Thales, under license in the European Union. 

Child with an FZ Thales rocket in Ogimba village

Rocket debris showing FZ Thales munitions codes

Elected West Papuan leaders, including Ciska Abogau, the Provincial Member for the Papua Peoples Assembly, met with Indonesian Police Chief Paulus Waterpau on 8 January 2020 to protest the attack on Ogimba.  Indonesian authorities have failed to take action.Thales has sold hundreds of these rockets to the Indonesian armed forces, and continues to do business with Indonesia, despite the clear evidence that Thales weapons are being deployed against civilians.


Debris from an FZ68 rocket fired from a helicopter at Banti village, Tembagapura, recovered after a three day bombardment from 18-20 March 2020.