Jakarta (ANTARA) - Bambang Soesatyo, the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) chairman, expressed regret over a clash between police and military officers in Papua and urged them to refocus on maintaining peace in Indonesia's easternmost province.

"Under whatever pretext, the authorities, who are supposed to play a role in maintaining security and public order, are not allowed to clash," he noted in a statement here on Monday.

Soesatyo highlighted the need for all parties to jointly maintain stability and security in Papua.

The MPR chairman lauded the Papua Police Chief and Cenderawasih VII Military Commander, who had temporarily banned members and families from leaving their respective headquarters in a bid to prevent further potential conflict.

The incident should be resolved without further ado, so that the military (TNI) and police (Polri) personnel can refocus on their respective duties in maintaining peace in Papua, he stated.

"Do not allow the Armed Criminal Group (KKB) in Papua to capitalize on the tensions simmering between security forces to instill a sense of fear among members of the community," he noted.

The former Indonesian House speaker reminded that soldiers must be prepared to risk their lives for the sake of Indonesia rather than get embroiled in personal conflicts.

Moreover, TNI and Polri personnel were expected to be patriots, who were role models for the community. Hence, they should steer clear from trivial matters leading to misunderstandings that can trigger panic among members of the public, he emphasized.

Soesatyo reiterated that the TNI and Polri personnel, equipped with weapons, must exercise self-restraint, so that they do not become easily provoked and in the event of a problem, they must be adept at resolving it optimally and amicably by promoting familiar dialogue.

A clash between TNI and Polri officers broke out in Membramo Raya District, Papua, on Sunday morning that resulted in the deaths of three policemen and injuries to two others.

Local commanders of the Papua military and police had met to discuss the incident and agreed to form a joint team to investigate the clash.

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Translator: Imam Budilaksono, Fardah
Editor: Sri Haryati
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