600 soldiers dispatched to safeguard construction of Trans Papua road

An Army soldier embraces his wife at Sukarno-Hatta Port in Makassar, South Sulawesi, a moment before the dispatch of 600 task force soldiers to safeguard the construction of Trans Papua road on Sunday (March 2, 2019) (ANTARA FOTO/ABRIAWAN ABHE)

MAKASSAR, Mar 4, 2019, ANTARA News. Chief of the Hasanuddin Regional Military Command XIV Major General Surawahadi dispatched 600 military personnel to safeguard the construction of the Trans Papua road project on Sunday, reported the ANTARA.

The personnel comprised 450 from the Battalion Infantry Raider 431 of the Army`s Strategic Reserve Command (Kostrad) and 150 from the Combat Engineers Battalion, he noted on the sidelines of a ceremony marking the dispatch of military personnel at the Soekarno-Hatta container terminal in Makassar.

He called on the soldiers to perform their duties optimally while safeguarding the construction of the bridge on the Trans Papua road where armed criminal group members had killed dozens of workers building the bridge on Dec 2 last year.

The duties serve as honor and trust that the state lays on the soldiers, he remarked.

“You have heavy tasks and responsibilities to safeguard the construction of the Trans Papua road, including dealing with security disturbance from the armed separatist group,” he emphasized.

However, the heavy tasks will become easy if they are done sincerely, wholeheartedly, and responsibly, he added.

The government has decided to suspend construction work on several parts of the Trans-Papua road following the shooting of workers building the bridge over the Yigi River in Nduga District, Papua.

President Joko Widodo had stated in December 2018 that the government will go ahead with construction of the 4,600-kilometer Trans Papua road despite the shooting of construction workers.

Reporting by Suriani Mappong

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