Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) urged regional military and police chiefs to exert effort in anticipating forest and land fires in their respective jurisdiction, considering the effect of the El Nino phenomenon on current weather conditions.

At the 2023 Joint Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) and Indonesian Police Leadership Meeting here, Wednesday, the president highlighted that the police and the military are responsible for taking forest and land fire prevention efforts in line with the pledge they had made years ago.

"I wish to bring up the pledge seven years ago that remains valid until now. If a major (forest and land) fire occurs in a province, the regional military command chiefs, regional police chiefs, and sub-regional military chiefs, be careful, the pledge remains in force," Jokowi stated.

The head of state laid emphasis on intensifying the efforts in forest fire-prone areas, including Riau, North Sumatra, and Kalimantan, as the temperature in those regions is expected to increase from February-end to March.

Earlier, the president said he would not hesitate to dismiss chiefs of regional military and police units that failed to control a major forest and land fire occurring in their region.

Jokowi issued the warning during the national coordination meeting on forest and land fire control at the State Palace here in 2018.

"If in your region, a (forest and land) fire occurs and fails to be controlled properly, our rule remains the same, i.e. dismissal," Jokowi stressed.

Apart from voicing his instruction and briefing to the military and police top brass, the president also underscored the need for military and police officers to maintain solidarity, conduciveness, and political neutrality in the run-up to the 2024 General Elections during the Wednesday meeting.

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Translator: Mentari Dwi G, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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