Lawmaker urges government to assess strategy for handling Papua rebels

Lawmaker urges government to assess strategy for handling Papua rebels

Member of the House of Representatives (DPR) Commission I Sukamta  ANTARA FOTO/Indrianto Eko Suwarso/hp/pri.

The government must soon evaluate (the strategy) and settle the issue in Papua to avoid further casualties among military personnel and civilians.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - A lawmaker urged Indonesia's government to improve its strategy to handle armed criminal groups in Papua Province following the death of a military soldier in a gunfight with rebels in Intan Jaya on Feb 15.

"The government must soon evaluate (the strategy) and settle the issue in Papua to avoid further casualties among military personnel and civilians," member of the House of Representatives' (DPR's) Commission I Sukamta stated here on Wednesday.

Since January 2021, four soldiers from the Infantry Battalion (Yonif) Raider 400/Banteng Raiders have been killed in gunfights with the armed criminal group. In fact, the infantry battalion is one of the Indonesian military's (TNI's) reliable units.

Sukamta emphasized that the country had to pay a high price for the loss of each life. Hence, the government must soon evaluate its steps to settle the issue in Papua in order to avoid further casualties.

"Now that many TNI soldiers have been killed, the government's strategy has proven ineffective and must be evaluated soon," he affirmed.

The deputy chief of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) faction at the DPR emphasized that the government should not be weak in handling the armed criminal group that has caused protracted security instability in Indonesia's easternmost province.

Earlier, the government had managed to deal with security disturbance in Aceh Province and the Santoso-led terrorist group in Poso, Central Sulawesi Province, through integrated operations involving military and police personnel.

Sukamta called on the government to address several issues in Papua, including injustice, discrimination, and backwardness.

Regardless of how good the security approach is, if the government is unable to offer justice and social welfare to the people of Papua, it will potentially lead to an upheaval.

Papua has borne witness to a spate of violence, with armed Papuan groups in the districts of Intan Jaya, Nduga, and Puncak targeting civilians and security personnel over the past two years.

On February 9, 2021, a motorcycle taxi (ojek) driver was stabbed to death by six armed Papuans.

A day earlier, an armed rebel reportedly shot a 32-year-old man at close range in Bilogai Village, Sugapa Sub-district, Puncak District.
Related news: Kiosk owner attacked by men armed with machete in Puncak

Related news: Find effective ways to crush Papua rebels: MPR tells TNI, police


 

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