Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Counter-Terrorism Agency (BNPT) urged law enforcement personnel to not waver in imposing the law on terrorism against armed criminal groups in Papua since what they did had constituted acts of terrorism.

"(What the) armed criminal groups have done fall under the scope of terrorism acts," BNPT Head Boy Rafli Amar remarked here on Friday.

Amar delivered the statement after meeting with the National Association of Village Consultative Agency (Abpednas) and Panca Marga Youth to forge collaboration on efforts to prevent terrorism.

Amar noted that his administration consistently pursued coordination with law enforcement personnel in Papua to address the issue of armed criminal groups that was prevalent in that region.

The BNPT head reminded those personnel that the country had in place Law Number 5 of 2018 on Terrorism Eradication that could serve as a basis for them to take action against those violations.

Moreover, the agency has some programs to pursue peace in Papua that involve the local youth, he pointed out.

The government, through the National Police and National Defense Forces, are currently making all-out efforts to free Captain Philips Max Mehrtens, the Susi Air pilot, who is currently held hostage by the armed criminal group.

Hence, the people were obligated to always support the government in their efforts to address the situation.

"Thus, everything is on track, and the most important aspect is to give clarifications for Papuans to prevent them from accepting narratives built by armed criminal groups, who legalize violence for (meeting) their ends," he affirmed.

He stated that the government would be hard-pressed to grant the armed criminal group's demands of sums of money and weapons in exchange for the abducted pilot from New Zealand.

"Of course, we do not want unreasonable demands to be met," he stressed.

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Translator: M Zulfikar, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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