Ready to join manhunt for armed Papuan rebels: military

The Indonesian Military (TNI) is ready to assist the National Police in arresting all members of armed separatist and terrorist groups operating in Papua province, chief of TNI’s information center, Major General Achmad Riad, said.

He made the remarks in Jakarta on Monday after President Joko Widodo ordered military chief, Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, and National Police chief, General Listyo Sigit Prabowo, to launch a manhunt for all members of armed groups operating in Papua province.

“In essence, we are ready to arrest all members of the armed criminal groups. We are awaiting President Jokowi’s further political decision,” Riad said.

Asked about the likelihood of security agencies conducting large-scale operations to arrest the armed rebels, he reiterated that the TNI continued to await the government’s decision.

President Widodo ordered the manhunt following the fatal shooting of the chief of the State Intelligence Agency (BNI) — Papua Office, Brig. Gen. I Gusti Putu Danny, on Sunday.

Brig. Gen. Danny is the first top military officer to fall victim to an attack by an armed group.

Speaking at a press conference at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta earlier on Monday, the President stressed that there is no place for armed criminal groups within Indonesian territory, including Papua.

He offered his condolences on the death of Brig. Gen. Danny, and announced his posthumous promotion to a higher rank in recognition of his dedication and sacrifice for the state.

“On behalf of the nation, people, and state, I offer deep condolences to his bereaved family,” he added.

Brig. Gen. Danny was shot during a gunfight while visiting Dambel village, Beoga sub-district, Puncak district, Papua. He arrived at the village, located about three kilometers from Beoga, with seven security personnel on four motorcycles around 9:20 p.m. local time on Sunday.

The village has been a target of violence lately, with armed rebels reportedly setting ablaze several civilian homes and an elementary school building in the area.

Over the past four months, Papua has borne the brunt of a string of attacks by armed groups targeting civilians in districts such as Puncak and Intan Jaya.

Armed groups often employ hit-and-run tactics against Indonesian security personnel, while unleashing acts of terror against civilians to instill fear among the people.

 

Source: Antara News

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