Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - The security situation in 11 Papuan districts headed for simultaneous regional elections on December 9, 2020 has so far been stable, but police are maintaining strict vigilance to tackle any potential disturbances, an official said.

"So far, the security situation in the 11 participating districts remains conducive enough," deputy chief of Papua Police, Brig.Gen. Fakhiri, told ANTARA in Jayapura, the capital of Papua province, on Thursday.

As part of precautionary measures, the Papua police are mustering 3,500 police officers and 500 personnel from the elite mobile brigade (Brimob Nusantara) so they can be dispatched to districts that are prone to security disturbances, he said.

The 11 districts participating in the elections are Waropen, Supiori, Merauke, Yalimo, Boven Digul, Asmat, Mamberamo Raya, Nabire, Keerom, Pegunungan Bintang, and Yahukimo, he said adding, Yahukimo, Waropen, Keerom, and Boven Digul are considered “prone” to security threats.

Besides, regional elections are also slated to be held in nine districts of West Papua province -- Manokwari, Manokwari Selatan, Pegunungan Arfak, Raja Ampat, Sorong Selatan, Fakfak, Teluk Wondama, Teluk Bintuni, and Kaimana, he said.

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The Indonesian province of Papua has continued to bear the brunt of a vicious cycle of violence, with armed groups in the districts of Intan Jaya and Nduga continuing to target civilians and security personnel over the past two months.

Intan Jaya recorded its bloodiest month in September this year, with armed Papuan groups mounting a string of attacks in the area, which left two soldiers and two civilians dead, and two others injured.

The acts of terror by notorious armed groups in the Indonesian province continued in October.

On October 9, 2020, an armed group ambushed a joint fact-finding team (TGPF) formed by the government to probe a recent shooting in Mamba village, Sugapa sub-district.

One of the fact-finding team's members and a soldier were injured in the attack.

As per Papua police headquarters' records, over the past nine months, armed groups operating in Intan Jaya have been involved in 17 cases of violence against civilians and security personnel.

Papua Police chief, Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw, revealed recently that six armed groups are currently active in Intan Jaya, including in Hipadipa sub-district. They are being led by Sebinus Waker and reportedly possess 17 rifles.

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Translator: Evarukdijati, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Copyright © ANTARA 2020