100 mobile brigade personnel dispatched to Papua: NTT police chief

100 mobile brigade personnel dispatched to Papua: NTT police chief

100 personnel from the Mobile Brigade unit of the East Nusa Tenggara Police were dispatched to Papua Province on Thursday (Aug 15, 2019) (Antara Photo/ Kornelis Kaha)

With the knowledge and skills learned from the Internet, they may have become more skillful and militant. To fight and crush them, security personnel with special capabilities are needed
Kupang, E Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA) - The East Nusa Tenggara provincial police on Thursday dispatched 100 members of its mobile brigade (Brimob) unit to Papua Province to assist in the law enforcement efforts against armed rebels.

The Brimob personnel will remain stationed in several subdistricts of this easternmost province until December 15, 2019, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Police Chief Inspector General Raja Erizman told journalists here.

The government has been doing its best to improve the quality of infrastructure in Papua to improve the local people's lives, but armed rebels are trying to challenge the government's existence and authority, he said.

Furthermore, the armed rebels have firmly refused to join the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, he said, adding that the National Police has entrusted the East Nusa Tenggara Police's Mobile Brigade unit with this honorable mission to Papua.

The trust bestowed is a matter of pride, he said. Therefore, all on-duty personnel must work to preserve the honor of the police corps during their law enforcement mission in Papua, he said.

“The Brimob personnel also need to be aware of the fact that the armed Papuan rebels may have improved their warfare knowledge and skills thanks to easy access to the Internet,” he remarked.

“With the knowledge and skills learned from the Internet, they may have become more skillful and militant. To fight and crush them, security personnel with special capabilities are needed," he said.

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

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On Monday (Aug 12, 2019), First Brigadier Hedar was kidnapped and shot dead by an armed group in Usir Village, near Mudidok Village in Puncak District.

The incident reportedly occurred around 11 a.m. local time on Monday. First Brigadier Hedar and his colleague, Chief Brigadier Alfonso Wakum, were passing through the village on a motorcycle when a local resident called out their names and they stopped to meet him.

A few minutes later, a group of armed separatists appeared suddenly from a bush and intercepted them.

Conscious of the danger, Wakum managed to hide, but the armed rebels caught Hedar and killed him not far from the place where he was intercepted.

Wakum later reported the incident to the Ilaga police post. Hedar's body was found around 5.30 p.m. local time near the site of the abduction.

Related news: Armed Papuan rebels persistent challenge to Indonesia's security

In the first half of 2019, there have been at least 10 shooting incidents involving armed separatists, which have claimed the lives of five soldiers, one policeman, and a civilian, according to Papua Police Chief Inspector General Rudolf A. Rodja.

The shootings that took place in the jurisdiction of the Puncak Jaya and Jayawijaya Police Precincts during the January-June period also resulted in six soldiers and two policemen suffering gunshot wounds, Rodja had stated on July 3, 2019.

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

At the time, the armed rebels had also killed a soldier identified as Handoko and injured two other security personnel named Sugeng and Wahyu.

Taking note of this grim reality, Rodja stated that the security disturbances caused by the rebels remain a persistent challenge to Indonesia's security apparatus in the province.

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