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Indonesia continues crackdown on armed Papuan terrorists: Minister

A Papuan student with her face painted with the colours of the separatist 'Morning Star' flag shouts slogans during a rally near the presidential palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, on August 29. CREDIT: AP. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

JAKARTA, May 26, 2021, ANTARA. Indonesia’s top security minister, Mahfud MD, highlighted the government’s priority to seek peaceful solutions to the Papuan issue though will continue to crack down on armed Papuan terrorist groups that have threatened most Papuan communities, ANTARA reported.

Law enforcement operations are continued against armed terrorists to stop their acts of violence against 92 percent of the Papuan communities that are the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia’s (NKRI’s) loyalists, according to Mahfud MD.

“Some 92 percent of the Papuan communities are NKRI’s loyalists based on the outcome of a survey,” Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD noted in a press statement that ANTARA quoted in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Outcome of the recent survey, jointly conducted by the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) along with universities and several other credible institutions, revealed that 82 percent of the respondents openly supported Indonesia’s special autonomy draft bill.

Furthermore, 10 percent of the respondents said they would go ahead with whatever was decided for Papua’s greater good, while eight percent of the respondents directly rejected the continuation of Papua’s special autonomy, Mahfud MD revealed.

Those rejecting the continuation of Papua’s special autonomy could be divided into three groups: the political, clandestine, and armed wings.

“What we are now facing are members of the armed group that have disrupted the security of 92 percent of Papuan communities (that are the loyalists of NKRI),” he stated.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday afternoon, Mahfud MD received several top figures of the Indonesian Communion of Churches and Bible Institutions (PGLII) and Priest Advisory Council (MPP). PGLII chairman, Priest Ronny Mandang, and MPP chairperson, Priest Nus Reimas, were among them.

Priest Mandang was quoted in the press statement as saying that the Indonesian Evangelical Christian Church (GKII) held an influential position in Papua’s remote and mountainous areas.

Hence, the PGLII has offered the government to serve as a mediator for a peaceful dialog with Papuan groups.

“On April 6, 2021, we had held a dialogue with church leaders there. They are optimistic that the government would be willing to open a dialog and that the acts of violence in Papua would immediately end,” he was quoted as saying.

Priest Reimas drew attention to the significance of cultural approaches for the native Papuans living and growing up in diverse environments.

In response to inputs from Mandang and Reimas, Mahfud MD praised those in Papua that are keen to function as mediators.

At the meeting, he also shared information on the government’s policies on Papua; prosperity-based approaches for handling the Papua issue; constructive dialog; and law enforcement operations against armed separatist terrorist groups.

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