Papuan police chief warns of threats posed by armed Papuan criminals

Troops guarded a gas station in Merauke District, Papua, Tuesday (Sept 3, 2019). (ANTARA/HO/Merauke District Police's Documentation). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

JAYAPURA, Nov 19, 2019, ANTARA. Papua Police Chief Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw has warned that armed Papuan criminals would likely launch disturbances in the future at the mining sites of gold and copper mining firm PT Freeport Indonesia in Tembagapura Sub-district, ANTARA reported.

“There have been indications that the armed Papuan criminals will disrupt the company’s operational activities. To anticipate any unexpected eventuality, the security personnel beef up security in the area,” he told ANTARA in Jayapura on Monday.

According to reports that he received, several groups of armed Papuan rebels from Pegunungan Tengah in Jayawijaya District had been spotted in Intan Jaya District. They were seen moving toward the mining areas of PT Freeport Indonesia, he said.

Waterpauw said he had ordered the security agencies’ special team members to continue monitoring the movements of the criminals, he said, adding that civil and religious leaders were also approached to prevent residents from being provoked by the groups.

Apart from the police efforts to beef up security prior to the commemoration of the Free Papua Movement’s (OPM’s) anniversary in early December, he said extra security personnel, deployed from outside Papua Province, were not needed.

In general, the security situation across Papua Province remains under control, he added.

Meanwhile, prior to the commemoration of the West Papua National Committee’s (KNPB’s) anniversary on Nov 19, the police in Mimika, Papua Province, have also intensified security throughout the district.

Security was increased in Timika, the capital city of Mimika District, by stepping up routine patrolling to offer a sense of security and safety to the local residents, Mimika Police Chief, Adjunct Sen. Coms. I Gusti Gede Era Adhinata, stated.

“The more intensified patrols in vulnerable areas are not merely conducted as precautionary measures ahead of the commemoration of KNPB’s anniversary, but they are also held to make the local community members aware of the police presence,” he said.

Adhinata remarked that the KNPB had been striving to counter the spread of an ideology running counter to the basic principles of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia. As a result, police officers will take stern actions against its members and loyalists.

“We are taking stern actions against them, if they violate Indonesia’s laws,” he noted, adding that the National Police and Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) have continued to monitor the movements of armed Papuan rebels in the areas of Tembagapura Sub-district.

Share it

Exclusive: Beyond the Covid-19 world's coverage