Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian military personnel would secure the parliamentary and presidential elections in Nduga District, Papua Province, on Wednesday, Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko said here on Tuesday.

Moeldoko called on the residents of the district, who are eligible to cast their votes at polling stations, to exercise their political rights.

"Security personnel have been deployed there to hunt down armed Papuans and to secure the lives of local people in the district areas," he told journalists at the Presidential Palace here.

He believed that the community members in Nduga District would remain unaffected over calls for boycotting the general elections, allegedly being spread by Egianus Kogoya, notorious leader of the armed Papuan rebels.

"I think the people there will not be affected because they are securely protected. No one will feel threatened because our security personnel are sufficient enough to secure the area," he said.

Nduga and Jaya Wijaya Districts in Papua have been vulnerable to violence. In February 2019, a civilian was gunned down by armed Papuan rebels in a village of Jaya Wijaya District.

This murder of Sugeng Efendi, a resident of Wuyukwi Village, Mulia Subdistrict, on Feb 2, 2019, added to the death toll of civilians by the armed Papuan rebels, following the killings of 31 construction workers in December 2018.

The 25-year-old kiosk keeper was shot dead by an armed Papuan rebel on Saturday evening. Efendi was murdered two days after the Free Papua Movement (OPM) announced its official support for its armed wing's declaration of war against Indonesia.

According to Radio New Zealand (RNZ), the announcement was made by OPM Spokesman Jeffrey Bomanak during a press conference held in Port Moresby, the capital city of Papua New Guinea (PNG), on Jan 31, 2019.

RNZ quoted Bomanak as saying that the war against the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia "would not end until Jakarta agreed to meet over peaceful negotiations, for which the OPM is establishing a team of negotiators".

Over the past year, the armed Papuan separatists had not only conducted a series of killings against civilians and security personnel, but they were also involved in other serious crimes such as holding civilians hostage and raping the victims.

In the case of 16 teachers and medical workers in Mapenduma Subdistrict, Nduga District, Papua Province, in October 2018, for instance, a military officer confirmed that the rebels who held them hostage had raped the victims (SINDOnews, 2018).

Further, in Nduga District, a group of armed Papuan rebels brutally killed 31 workers from PT Istaka Karya, who were engaged in the construction and building of the Trans-Papua project in Kali Yigi and Kali Aurak in Yigi Sub-District, on Dec 2, 2018.

Translator: Bayu P, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Bambang Purwanto
Copyright © ANTARA 2019