Military-Police Apparatus Maintain Red Zone in West Papuan Infrastructure

Illustration of Military-Police Members

Presidential Chief of Staff, Moeldoko said that as many as 154 joint forces of the Indonesian National Army (TNI) and the Indonesian National Police (Polri) were deployed to West Papua to secure infrastructure projects that were considered vulnerable.

This was followed following the murder of dozens of construction workers in Kali Yigi and Kali Aurak, Nduga Regency, (West) Papua last weekend.

Moeldoko said the placement of these officers was aimed at maintaining the security of construction project infrastructure workers in West Papua. Moreover, the government is committed to continuing infrastructure projects in West Papua despite the incident.

“154 Military and Police officers have been deployed to restore the situation. We do not want the community, whether working or genuine, to feel uncomfortable and insecure. Therefore it is necessary to immediately restore the situation,” Moeldoko said at the Presidential Palace Complex, Central Jakarta, Wednesday (5/12).

Moeldoko revealed that the decision to secure construction workers in West Papua was an initiation from National Police Chief Gen. Tito Karnavian on Tuesday (4/12) night. In his report to Moeldoko, Tito also asked all business entities working on infrastructure projects in West Papua to continue to communicate with the Indonesian National Police and Military.

Meanwhile, according to the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR), currently, the bridge project in  West Papua is carried out by two business entities, namely PT Istaka Karya (Persero) which works 14 bridges and PT Brantas Abipraya which works on 21 bridges. A total of 10 bridges are planned to be worked on in 2019.

Moeldoko acknowledged that the security aspects of West Papua’s infrastructure projects had not been maximized. However, he still did not understand whether this security aspect was related to the budget of the two agencies.

He only hoped that the Military and Police would remain professional. Moreover, he said, infrastructure work will have a positive impact on the economy in West Papua.

“Development continues, for it needs to be escorted to areas that are apparently not safe, the companies or state-owned enterprises that are working need to guard the Military and Police so that development continues to run well,” said the former Military General.

Previously, Defense Minister, Ryamizard Ryacudu, called the Free Papua Organization (OPM) the mastermind behind the killing of 31 workers in the bridge project in Kali Yigi and Kali Aurak, Yigi District, Nduga Regency, Papua.

The former Army Chief of Staff said he would take action on the incident. He will also coordinate the Military and Police in efforts to deal with the incident.

The handling efforts included taking steps to evacuate victims by sending planes and helicopters and mobilizing soldiers to follow up on the latest news about the attack on the Military post.


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