Police Need Time to Crush Separatists in Papua: Senior Official
12 May 2021 09:03 WIB
TEMPO.CO, Papua - Indonesian police will need time to hunt down Papuan separatist terrorists owing to their knowledge of the terrains where they operate and hide, a top official has said.
"At the moment, we need to be patient to follow what has become policies," chief of the National Police's Security Intelligence Agency, Coms.Gen. Paulus Waterpauw, told the press on Tuesday.
The Indonesian government formally designated armed Papuan groups, also known as "KKB", as "terrorists" on April 29, 2021 and attributed the decision to their acts of terror and crimes against civilians.
Labeling the groups as terrorists would help the government track those backing and funding them, Waterpauw explained.
The National Police's counterterrorism detachment Densus 88 could be tasked with probing such links, he added.
It is rather strange that the armed terrorists are in possession of expensive firearms and ammunition, he pointed out.
They can also purchase other necessities though they are jobless, he said, adding that the authorities need to find out and break the chain of their financial sources.
Waterpauw also emphasized that the terrorism label is only meant for those committing crimes, and not for members of Papuan communities.
Over the past few years, armed Papuan groups have employed hit-and-run tactics against Indonesian security personnel and mounted acts of terror against civilians in the districts of Intan Jaya, Nduga, and Puncak to instill fear among the people.
The recent targets of such attacks have included construction workers, motorcycle taxi (ojek) drivers, teachers, students, street food vendors, and even, civilian aircraft.
On December 2, 2018, a group of armed Papuan rebels brutally killed 31 workers from PT Istaka Karya engaged in the construction of the Trans Papua project in Kali Yigi and Kali Aurak in Yigi sub-district, Nduga district.
The same day, armed attackers also killed a soldier, identified as Handoko, and injured two other security personnel, Sugeng and Wahyu.
Such acts of violence have continued this year. On January 6, 2021, at least 10 armed separatist terrorists vandalized and torched a Quest Kodiak aircraft belonging to Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) on the Pagamba village airstrip.
On February 8, 2021, a 32-year-old man was shot at close range in Bilogai village, Sugapa sub-district.
The victim, identified as RNR, sustained gunshot wounds on the face and right shoulder and was taken to the Timika Public Hospital in Mimika district on February 9, 2021.
In a separate incident on February 9, six armed Papuans fatally stabbed a motorcycle taxi (ojek) driver.
another motorcycle taxi driver was shot dead by an unknown gunman in Papua the same day.
On April 8, 2021, several armed Papuan rebels opened fire at a kiosk in Julukoma village, Beoga sub-district, Puncak district, killing a Beoga public elementary school teacher, identified as Oktovianus Rayo.
After killing Rayo, the armed attackers torched three classrooms at the Beoga public senior high school.
On April 9, 2021, armed separatists fatally shot another teacher, Yonatan Randen, on the chest.
Two days later, nine classrooms at the Beoga public junior high school were set ablaze by an armed group.
Barely four days later, Ali Mom, a student of the Ilaga public senior high school in Beoga sub-district, was brutally killed by armed attackers.
On April 25, 2021, Papuan separatists operating in Beoga ambushed State Intelligence Agency (Papua) Chief I Gusti Putu Danny Karya Nugraha and several security personnel during their visit to Dambet village. Nugraha died in the attack.