Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) said it is committed to presenting a humane face and providing benefits to the residents of Papua while maintaining security in the region.

This commitment was demonstrated by the TNI's Raider Infantry Battalion 509/Balawara Yudha task force officers operating under the command of the Habema Operational Command. They provided benefits to residents of Bilogai village in Intan Jaya district, Central Papua.

"TNI soldiers in Bilogai village are focused on optimizing their duties to accelerate development in the Papua region," said Brigadier General Lucky Avianto, TNI's Habema operational commander, in a statement issued on Tuesday.

The officers of the task force, led by its commandant, Lieutenant Colonel Dessiawan Setyadi, have been assisting Bilogai residents in their activities while manning their posts in the village.

For instance, they helped tend to a minor injury suffered by one resident, Martin, who cut his finger while using a cable to transport luggage. He expressed gratitude to the military officers for their help.

Meanwhile, Mama Ester, also a local, commended TNI for their service to the community. She highlighted the kind gesture from officers who purchased the vegetables and fruit she sold at a local market.

“TNI soldiers are good. We are greatly helped by them, and we are safe on the road,” she said.

TNI's humane approach in Papua is consistent with Presidential Instruction No. 9 of 2020 on the Acceleration of Welfare Development in Papua, which mandates 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, to address Papua issues.

Over the past few years, armed Papuan groups have repeatedly used hit-and-run tactics against Indonesian security personnel and committed 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 threat posed by armed Papuan groups.

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Reporter: Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Anton Santoso
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