TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Papua Police Chief Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw has warned the police force, including the mobile brigade and special task force in Mimika, Papua Province, to be on guard against criminal groups in the district.
"Members of armed criminal groups have been moving towards this area. So, please stay alert," he told ANTARA who contacted him from Timika, the capital city of Mimika District, Monday. Last week, Waterpauw and Commander of the XVII Cenderawasih Regional Military Command Major General Herman Assaribab visited Tembagapura District whose areas have been used as a mining site by gold and copper mining firm PT Freeport Indonesia for decades.
The visit was aimed at checking the readiness of both police and military personnel assigned to safeguard and secure the areas, Waterpauw said.
More than 800 personnel of the Police Mobile Brigade have joined the Amole Task Force unit. They are backed up by the Nemangkawai Task Force unit, he said and added that he appreciates the dedication of personnel stationed in the mining areas.
The presence of the police and military personnel in the risky areas was aimed at maintaining security and peace, he said.
"The security personnel stationed there must be able to differentiate between the ordinary people and the 'extraordinary' ones," he added.
Violence erupted in several parts of Papua and West Papua provinces following the Surabaya incident on August 16 that fueled resentment and fury among native Papuans.
The rioting in Wamena on September 23 emerged as the most lethal of this wave of violence, causing misery to scores of Indonesians.
The incident claimed the lives of 33 innocent civilians, including a senior medical doctor, who had served the native Papuans living in remote areas for 15 years.
Furthermore, armed Papuan rebels also pose a threat to both security forces and civilians in the two provinces amid ongoing campaigns of hoaxes and propaganda launched by Benny Wenda and his anti-Indonesian groups.
On September 26, Papuan separatists gunned down two motorcycle taxi (Ojek) drivers near the Muara suspension bridge in Amnunggi Village, Ilaga Sub-district, Puncak, Papua.
The two drivers were identified as La Ode Alwi and Midung.
Over the past year, they have not only carried out a spate of killings of civilians and security personnel but were also involved in other grave crimes, including holding civilians hostage and raping them.
On February 2, 2019, the rebels gunned down a civilian in a village of Jayawijaya District.
This murder of Sugeng Efendi, a resident of Wuyukwi Village, Mulia Sub-district, raised the civilian death toll by rebels following the killings of 31 construction workers in December 2018.