Papua Police Say Armed Groups Bring Terror to Airlines

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  • Papua Police Chief Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw after a hearing with lawmakers at Nusantara II Building, Parliamentary Complex, Senayan, South Jakarta on Wednesday, November 20, 2019. TEMPO/Andita Rahma

    Papua Police Chief Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw after a hearing with lawmakers at Nusantara II Building, Parliamentary Complex, Senayan, South Jakarta on Wednesday, November 20, 2019. TEMPO/Andita Rahma

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaPapua Regional Police Chief Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw said recent terror acts carried out by criminal armed groups affected airlines’ flights.

    “Airlines are reluctant to transport the military (TNI) and police personnel. But we think it is reasonable due to safety factors,” said Paulus in a written statement on Thursday, September 24, 2020.

    Moreover, he said the armed groups issued threats via a one-minute and 20-second video footage that went viral on social media on September 19, 2020.

    “In the video, Sebby says personnel from the TNPN (National Liberation Army of West Papua) and OPM (the Free Papua Organization) will not hesitate to fire aircrafts carrying security forces,” said Paulus, mentioning Sebby Sambom who is the TNPN spokesperson.

    The clash between armed groups and the police-military officers had broken out again following the death of pastor Yeremia Zanambani. The Indonesian Evangelical Christian Church (GKII) and Papuan media said the pastor was shot dead by a TNI member in a military operation on Saturday, September 19.

    However, Papua Regional Police rebuffed the allegation. Paulus claimed there was no officer in the area and suspected the armed group behind the incident as they wanted to attract attention in the UN General Assembly, which would be held at the end of September.

    The series of events, Paulus argued, had been scheduled by the armed groups. “This is propaganda given the upcoming UN meetings, and so we understand that several parties were trying to dramatize the incident,” he said.

    Read also: Pastor Zambani Gunned Down by Armed Papuan Criminals: TNI

    ANDITA RAHMA