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Intelligence chief calls for security sweep in Jayapura

Jakarta Globe - June 8, 2012

Arientha Primanita – The head of Indonesia's State Intelligence Agency has spoken of the need for a sweep of Jayapura for armed civilians following heightened violence in the capital of Papua province for more than a week now.

Lt. Gen. Marciano Norman, the chief of the agency better known as BIN, on Friday indicated that a security sweep targeting men in possession of firearms might be conducted to prevent further attacks. He asked the public to understand the necessity of the move and to support it.

"We have no choice but to do the sweep, as civilians are not allowed to hold guns. Rules must be upheld," Marciano said over the phone. "I hope if the public see people having guns when they shouldn't, they will report it to police."

Marciano said the recent shootings in Jayapura, some of them fatal, were being carried out by armed groups, formerly dwelling in the mountains, who had begun to enter the town.

"One thing for sure is armed groups are entering the town, launching terror actions. We can see that their victims are comprised of TNI [Indonesian military] soldiers, police officers and civilians," Marciano said.

He added that the armed men had gained access to Jayapura because they had informants and support networks in the city. Prior to this, the armed groups only launched their attacks in jungles or mountainous areas.

Violence is not new to restive Papua, but shootings have taken place with increasing frequency in Jayapura since May 29, when a German tourist was shot and wounded in a drive-by shooting.

Monday saw a 16-year-old student also shot and wounded. On Tuesday, unidentified gunmen shot and injured two civilians and a TNI soldier. On Wednesday, a civil servant was shot dead in front of the mayor's office. On Thursday alone, there were reportedly three people shot, two of whom died, including a police officer.

All of these took place in Jayapura, with none of the attackers having been identified, nor arrested. Marciano said BIN was in the process of gathering information to track down the perpetrators. (BeritaSatu/JG)