Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - Indonesian Military (TNI) Commander General Andika Perkasa has pledged to emphasize "social communication" to deal with Papuan groups who continue threatening the lives of civilians and security personnel in Papua.

The social communication-based approach has been adopted as an endeavor to avoid falling victim to the conflict, he told journalists on the sidelines of a working visit to Jayapura, Papua province, on Wednesday.

General Perkasa said he will let members of the international community assess the law enforcement against Papuan separatist terrorists who commit crimes against humanity.

In Congo, a country located on the western coast of Central Africa, the Indonesian soldiers involved in the UN peacekeeping mission handle militias without bloodshed, he pointed out.

If this can be done in Congo, why not Papua? he asked while highlighting the importance of professional soldiers who are highly committed to human values.

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General Perkasa has been in Jayapura, the capital of Papua province, since Tuesday afternoon to observe the COVID-19 vaccine drive in three different places.

The vaccination sites are the Silat Papare Air Force Base in Sentani, Jayapura district, as well as the Indonesian Naval Base (Lantamal) X, and Marthen Indey Army Hospital in Jayapura city.

General Perkasa also pointed to the insufficient number of military district commands (Kodim) in Papua. One military regional command (Korem) generally administers 10 units of Kodim, he noted.

In fact, one Korem in Papua only administers between three and five units of Kodim with large administrative areas, he said. Thus, the number of Kodim in Papua will gradually be increased, he added.

Ideally, Papua has 30 units of Kodim, considering the fact that one Korem administers 10 units of Kodim, he said.

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General Perkasa was sworn in by President Joko Widodo as the TNI commander on November 17, 2021 in place of Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, who has reached the retirement age of 58, on November 8, 2021.

According to observers, Papua will be a challenge during Perkasa's leadership as armed conflicts are still occurring in Papua and West Papua though the central and regional governments are making the utmost efforts to improve the welfare of local communities by intensifying regional development.

Papua has borne witness to a spate of violence against civilians and security personnel in the past few years.

Intan Jaya recorded its bloodiest month in September 2020, with notorious armed groups launching a series of attacks that claimed the lives of two soldiers and two civilians and left two others injured.

The armed groups have continued their acts of terror this year, too.

On April 25, 2021, Papuan separatists, operating in Beoga, ambushed State Intelligence Agency (Papua) chief I Gusti Putu Danny Karya Nugraha and several security personnel during their visit to Dambet village.

Nugraha died of gunshot wounds.

Related news: Challenges await General Perkasa in Papua

Translator: Evarukdijati, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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