President orders handling of armed criminal group problem in Papua

President orders handling of armed criminal group problem in Papua

President Joko Widodo . (Bayu Prasetyo)

South Lampung, Lampung (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has ordered security authorities to deal with the issue concerning the armed criminal group in Papua Province following the murders of three military officers by the group on Thursday (Mar 7).

"Yes, I have instructed since the first incident sometime ago to catch them. Finish it," President Jokowi told the press here, Friday.

Difficult terrain and the thick jungles of Papua have hampered efforts by the Indonesian military and police to deal with the group, he added. Meanwhile, remains of three military officers killed in shootout with armed criminal groups in Mugi, Nduga, Papua, (Mar 7), were flown from Timika, Mimika, to their hometowns in West Nusa Tenggara, Central Java, and South Sulawesi.

In the shootout, 10 members of the criminal group, led by Egianus Kogoya, were killed and five firearms were seized by the Indonesian military.

The 10 bodies of the criminals were taken away by their colleagues.  

On December 2, 2018, in Nduga District, the criminal group killed 31 road construction workers from PT Istaka Karya, who were engaged in construction and building the Trans-Papua project in Kali Yigi and Kali Aurak in Yigi Sub-District. Earlier, Chief of the Papua Provincial Police Inspector General Martuani Sormin had stated that there was no military operation in conflict-plagued Nduga District, Papua Province.

Only law enforcement operation code-named "operasi Nemangkawi" was currently being conducted in the district, he revealed.

The "operasi Nemangkawi" was launched after an armed criminal group shot dead civilians in Nduga, he stated.

Hence, he has urged local residents to not take refuge and believe in hoaxes.

The security agencies will continue to conduct law enforcement operations in the district, as the armed criminal group attacked not only civilians but also security personnel. As a result, construction projects in the district were disrupted, he remarked. 

Reporting by Bayu Prasetyo, fardah