Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - Security disturbances caused by armed Papuan rebels have kept the province's Indonesian police on their toes since 10 shooting incidents involving these armed separatists that claimed seven lives occurred in the first semester of 2019.

Five of the dead victims were soldiers, while two others were a policeman and civilian, Papua Police Chief Inspector General Rudolf A. Rodja stated here on Wednesday.

The shooting incidents that took place in the working areas of the Puncak Jaya and Jayawijaya Police Precincts during the January-June period this year had also resulted in gunshot wounds sustained by six soldiers and two policemen, Rodja remarked.

Security disturbances still potentially recur for which precautionary measures are necessary, particularly for securing this year's commemoration of Indonesian Independence Day on Aug 17 and the anniversary of the Free Papua Movement on Dec 1, he emphasized.

The commemoration of International Human Rights Day on Dec 10 and the Christmas celebrations on Dec 25-26 are other days that call for the need to take precautionary security measures, Rodja stated.

ANTARA noted that Rodja's predecessor, Inspector General Martuani Sormin, had, in fact, forecast that the armed Papuan rebels, or what the police term "armed criminal groups" or "KKB," would likely remain a serious security threat in certain areas of the central mountain range of the Indonesian province of Papua.

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Sormin informed journalists in January this year that the police had attempted to approach the armed groups to end the vicious circle of violence, but the effort proved to be futile.

However, he pointed to a reduction in security disturbances following the deployment of army and police personnel in the areas of the central mountain range that might potentially be targeted by the armed groups.

The governor and heads of districts are tasked with handling the administration of the areas, and without their support, the armed forces and police personnel could not have conducted their duties.

Hence, in dealing with such security threats, Sormin suggested to activate the "Regional Leadership Communication Forum," or "Forkopimda," so that necessary solutions can be sought jointly to tackle all problems arising in the regions.

On December 2, 2018, a group of armed Papuan rebels had brutally killed 31 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, Nduga District, Papua Province.

The armed rebels, who launched the brutal killings, also killed a soldier named Handoko and injured two other security personnel, Sugeng and Wahyu.

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Translator: Alfian R, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
Copyright © ANTARA 2019