Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) on Sunday has distributed food parcels to residents of Batas Batu Sub-district in Nduga, Highland Papua, in an effort to nurture relations with them.

The community service was carried out by TNI’s Para Raider Infantry Batallion 503/Mayangkara Kostrad task force officers operating under the command of the Habema Operational Command amidst its patrol mission in Batu Batas, according to a press statement.

“The ‘Blessed Sunday’ service carried out by the 503 Task Force in Batas Batu Sub-district is part of TNI’s mission to implement inclusive social communication to accelerate Papua development,” TNI's Habema Operational Commander Brigadier General Lucky Avianto stated.

During the “Blessed Sunday" community service, officers visited several villages along their patrol route in Batas Batu and distributed food parcels to residents.

The brigadier general explained that the community service was carried out by officers from Batas Batu Post of the infantry battalion led by its commandant, First Lieutenant Galih Nugroho.

The activity provided a medium to promote positive interaction between the military and locals, especially as officers were warmly welcomed by residents they met, he added.

Avianto informed that the community service for Batas Batu residents was carried out according to Presidential Instruction No. 9 of 2020 on Acceleration of Welfare Development in Papua, which mandated the military to engage with local figures and strategic groups to promote local development.

It is also in line with the soft-power strategy devised by TNI Commander General Agus Subiyanto in addressing Papua issues.

Over the past few years, armed Papuan groups have time and again employed hit-and-run tactics against Indonesian security personnel and mounted acts of terror against civilians in the districts of Intan Jaya, Nduga, and Puncak.

In response, the military and the police set up the Habema Operational Command earlier this year to optimize joint security operations in Papua to prevent local conflicts and neutralize the threats of armed Papuan insurgents.

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Reporter: Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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