House Speaker urges UN to list OPM as terrorist organization

House Speaker urges UN to list OPM as terrorist organization

House Speaker Bambang Soesatyo (Foto: Istimewa)

Jakarta, (ANTARA News) - Indonesian House Speaker Bambang Soesatyo has urged the United Nations (UN) to enlist the Free Papua Movement (OPM) as a terrorist organization for brutally killing and terrorizing innocent civilians.

"If we want to, we can urge the UN to put OPM on the list of terrorist organizations as stated in the UN definition. They have brutally murdered and terrorized innocent civilians," he remarked during a House plenary session at the parliament building here on Thursday.

Soesatyo made the statement in response to the murders carried out by armed criminal group members of several workers building a bridge over Yigi River in Nduga District, Papua Province, on December 2, 2018.

He offered condolences over the deaths of the workers of construction company PT Istaka Karya.

The shooting incident had crossed the limit of propriety and should be categorized as a terrorist act, he emphasized.

"DPR (the House of Representatives) strongly condemns the armed group in Papua that has committed a barbaric act on innocent residents," he noted.

He said the DPR also expects the government to take firm and stern measures against the armed criminal group and restore security in Papua.

Meanwhile, member of the House Commission I Sukamta stated that the government should find a smart solution to promote the welfare of the Papua people while at the same time respecting their customs and traditions.

"This must be done, so that they feel a sense of comfort in joining the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia," he remarked

Sukamta said the murders of construction workers should not go unheeded, and the matter should be settled by capturing their perpetrators.

On December 2, 2018, armed criminal group members had murdered several workers building a bridge over Yigi River.

The joint Indonesian military (TNI) and police (Polri) team has, so far, discovered 16 bodies of slain workers employed by the PT Istaka Karya construction company.

Jimy Aritonang, one of the survivors, recalled that some 50 armed men belonging to an outlawed group, led by Egunius Kogoya, had taken 25 workers from the camp to Mount Kabo.

On arriving in the remote mountainous area, the criminals shot the workers, whose hands were bound. Some 14 men died on the spot, while 11 others pretended to be dead and later attempted to escape.

However, five were later recaptured and killed by the criminals, while several others managed to reach a military post.

The criminals chased them until the military post and got engaged in a shootout with the officers. One military officer, identified as First Sergeant Handoko, was killed in the attack, while another one was injured.

Reporting by Imam Budilaksono, Suharto
Editing by Eliswan Azly