For the first step, of course, the (conflict-) prone strategic areas that we need to visit are Papua, Natuna Sea and Aceh. (The visit) will become a priority
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Newly-inaugurated National Defense Forces (TNI) Chief Admiral Yudo Margono is planning to visit conflict-prone areas, including Papua, Natuna Sea, and Aceh.

"For the first step, of course, the (conflict-) prone strategic areas that we need to visit are Papua, Natuna Sea, and Aceh. (The visit) will become a priority," Margono noted following a ceremony marking the transfer of post of TNI chief from General Andika Perkasa to him at the TNI Headquarters in East Jakarta on Tuesday.

Margono clarified that this should not be misconstrued as his unwillingness to visit other regions while adding that it is the conflict-prone regions that become a priority to visit.

He said although armed criminal groups (KKB) are still found in Papua, it has not been categorized as a military operation zone.

"I think the crimes that (KKB)) has committed so far are still categorized as a violation of criminal law. Hence, it is the authority of the National Police (to deal with them). However, we will continue to assist (the police) in law enforcement there," he remarked.

He noted that at least 12 state borders, of which 10 are marine borders, are considered vulnerable.

"Of course, if we speak of a state, what we need to keep alert and attend to are the border areas. We have 10 marine borders and two land borders," he pointed out.

To deal with potential conflict in land borders, the TNI has conducted diplomacy with neighboring countries. It is diplomacy in the state border in Natuna Sea that is difficult to conduct, he remarked.

"Admittedly, it is not easy. It does not take one or two years (to solve a) border problem. (To solve the matter of) the border in Natuna (Sea), (the country has tried) 14 times since 1973, but it remains unsolved. This means that it is not easy, so we will continue to cooperate and conduct diplomacy to prevent (any conflict) there," he remarked.

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Translator: Syaiful Hakim, Suharto
Editor: Sri Haryati
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