TNI anticipates security disturbances in Papua ahead of Aug 17

TNI anticipates security disturbances in Papua ahead of Aug 17

Chief of 1710 Mimika District Military Command Lt Col Pio L Nainggolan (center) (ANTARA News Papua/Evarianus Supar/RN)

Timika, Papua (ANTARA) - The Indonesian military (TNI) and Papua police will take necessary precautionary measures against security disturbances in the PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) mining area before Indonesia commemorates its 74th Independence Day anniversary on Aug 17.

The precautionary measures were deemed necessary since according to the intelligence agency's reports, there is a possibility of the armed Papuan rebels likely launching an attack on that day, Chief of 1710 Mimika District Military Command Lt Col Pio L. Nainggolan stated here on Saturday.

The areas under close monitoring of security personnel in their efforts to take precautionary measures against security disturbances would cover Tembagapura Sub-district in Mimika District and Mimika City and its outskirts, he noted.

To this end, the existing security posts will be strengthened, and the rebels' moves would be restricted, he noted, adding that the military and police will strive to ensure security to the local residents.

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"Hence, the local residents are urged to remain calm," he noted. The security personnel are acquainted with the routes that the rebels generally take in the areas of Tembagapura Sub-district, including the Ilaga-Aroanop-Banti and Ilaga-Jila-Tsinga-Grasberg routes.

Nainggolan remarked that the security apparatus will also adopt precautionary measures on new routes possibly taken by them to reach the areas of Tembagapura where the PTFI conducts exploration of ore containing copper, gold, and silver in the Grasberg minerals district.

Speaking in connection with the possibility of Timika City and its outskirts also facing the threat of rebels, Nainggolan expressed optimism that they would not turn into a battleground for the rebel groups and Indonesian security personnel.

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Timika's areas have often been used by rebels as a place for obtaining logistics supplies, budget, and ammunition as well as transit points, he pointed out.

The Papuan armed separatists have repeatedly launched deadly attacks and killings over the past years.

On December 2, 2018, for instance, 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.

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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