Organisational Hierarchy and Governing Authority (Leadership-Political and Military)The internal organization of OPM is difficult to determine. In 1996 OPM’s ‘Supreme Commander’ was Mathias Wenda. An OPM spokesperson in Sydney, John Otto Ondawame, says it has nine more or less independent commands. Australian freelance journalist, Ben Bohane, says it has seven independent commands. Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI), Indonesia’s army, says the OPM has two main wings, the ‘Victoria Headquarters’ and ‘Defenders of Truth’. The former is small, and was led by M L Prawar until he was shot dead in 1991. The latter is much larger and operates all over West Papua.
The larger organization, or ‘Defender of the Truth’ or Pembela Kebenaran (henceforth PEMKA), chaired by Mr. Jacob Prai, and Seth Roemkorem was the leader of Victoria Faction. During the killing of Prawar, Roemkorem was his commander.
Prior to this separation, TPN/OPM was one, under the leadership of Seth Roemkorem as the Commander of OPM, then the President of West Papua Provisional Government, while Jacob Prai as the Head of Senate. OPM reached its peak in organization and management (in modern terms) as it as structurally well organised. During this time, Senegal Government recognised the presence of OPM and allowed OPM to open its Embassy in Dakhar, with Mr. Tanggahma as the Ambassador.
Due to the rivalry, Roemkorem left his base and went to the Netherlands. During this time, Prai took over the leadership. John Otto Ondawame (a that time he left his law school in Jayapura because of being followed and threatened to be killed by the Indonesian ABRI day and night) became the right-hand man of Jacob Prai. It was Prai’s initiative to establish OPM Regional Commanders. He appointed and ordered nine Regional Commanders. Most of them were members of his own troops at the PEMKA headquarter, Skotiau, Vanimo-West Papua border.
Of those regional Commanders, Mathias Wenda was the commander for region II (Jayapura – Wamena), Kelly Kwalik for Nemangkawi (Fakfak regency), Tadeus Yogi (For Paniai Regency), Bernardus Mawen for Maroke region and others. These commanders have been active ever since. Kelly Kwalik was shot and killed on 16 December 2009.
In 2009, an OPM command group led by General Goliath Tabuni (Puncak Jaya Regency) was featured on an undercover BBC report about the West Papuan independence movement.