Police, Military Prioritize Negotiation with Papua Insurgent

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  • West Papua pro-independence supporters shout slogans during a rally commemorating the 55th anniversary of the New York Agreement, in Jakarta, Aug. 15, 2017. AP

    West Papua pro-independence supporters shout slogans during a rally commemorating the 55th anniversary of the New York Agreement, in Jakarta, Aug. 15, 2017. AP

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The security joint team of the Police and the Indonesian Army has prioritized peaceful negotiation with the Papuan criminal armed group, which has detained 1,300 people in the villages of Kimberly and Banti of Tembagapura Sub-district, Papua.

    "The joint team has tried to contact the armed group leader. However, no negotiation took place, as they have not communicated with the security officers," Head of Public Relation Division of Indonesian Police Inspector General Setyo Wasisto said here, Friday.

    According to Wasisto, the officers have not received any information about any harmful activity or violence perpetrated by the terrorists.

    The officers still have not received any request for ransom from the armed group.

    The terrorists have given women access to buy food and daily necessities for the people, he added.

    However, the police stressed the people in the villages would be experiencing trauma due to the detention.

    The Papua Regional Police has coordinated with the Papua Cendrawasih Regional Military Command to handle the hostage incident.

    Indonesia Police Chief General Tito Karnavian also asked the security officers to prioritize negotiation efforts by involving religious and public figures.

    Chief of Papua Regional Police Inspector General Boy Rafli stated the hostages included the people of Banti and Kimberly villages, as well as non-local people who worked as traditional gold miners.

    The hostage situation is disturbing activity and endangering the life of people in the area.

    The hostage takers are armed with guns and weapons, including machetes and arrows.

    Security officers have estimated the total members of the armed group to be some 100 persons.

    The Police and the Indonesian Military have prioritized the safety of people in both the villages.

    ANTARA