Prejudiced Term 'Papua Armed Criminal Group' No Longer Used: Govt

10 May 2021 11:38 WIB

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD delivers a press statement after conducting a working visit to Attorney General ST Burhanuddin at the RI Attorney General's Office, Jakarta, Monday, March 15, 2021. TEMPO / Hilman Fathurrahman W

TEMPO.CO, JakartaCoordinating Minister of Politics, Law, and Security Mahfud MD in an interview on Friday urged the Indonesian public to no longer use the term ‘Papuan armed criminal groups’ as it could mislead people to unfairly generalize people with Papuan origins as armed criminal groups (KKB). 

The government had always used the term to refer to separatist groups in Papua which has now taken another turn as Mahfud’s ministry officially recognizes the separatist groups as terrorists. 

“So please, do not refer to KKB Papua, but [more of] an individual reference of a person leading the KKB,” said Mahfud MD at his office on May 7.

He assures that the government will now use specific names of people who lead the armed criminal groups when referring to KKB activities. The government claims there are 19 specific groups actively engaged in violent separatism in Papua. 

Mahfud MD said that labeling the separatist groups as terrorists is merely a juridical confirmation and asserts that without it the groups have committed terror acts as defined in Law No.5/2018 on terrorism.

“Stating they are terrorists must be measured and mention the individual, who the person is, what their group affiliation is, and that would be much easier and prevent every Papuan citizen from being considered terrorists,” he said.

Read: Listen to Papua, Church Leaders

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