Jakarta (Antara) – Hasanuddin XIV regional military commander Major General Surawahadi has released 600 TNI (Indonesian military) soldiers to provide security for the construction of the Trans Papua highway.
"This time round 600 troops are being deployed, 450 personnel from the Army's Strategic Reserves Command (Kostrad, Green Berets) Raider Infantry Battalion and the remainder from the Zeni Combat Battalion (Yonzipur)", said Surawahadi during a break in an event marking the deployment of the troops at the Soekarno-Hatta Peti Kemas port in Makassar, South Sulawesi, on Sunday March 3.
During the release of the elite troops, Surawahadi reminded them to carry out their duties to the best of their abilities in pursuing the mission to secure the Trans Papua highway bridge construction, which was temporarily halted after an attack on construction workers by irresponsible rogue elements.
In carrying out their mandate, Surawahadi reminded them that this is an honorable and trusted duty given to them by the state.
"You have been given a duty and responsibility that will not be light in safeguarding the Trans Papua construction, including security disturbances from armed separatist groups", he asserted.
Nevertheless, continued Surawahadi, this heavy duty will be light if it is performed devoutly, sincerely and with a full sense of responsibility.
He reminded the troops that they are profession army soldiers who have been trained and are loyal and who hold firmly to the Sapta Marga (military oath, the Sumpah Prajurit (soldiers oath) and the 8 Wajib TNI (TNI's eight-point personnel duties) as guidelines in carrying out their duties.
Discipline, loyalty, solidarity and always guarding your character are the hallmarks of skilled and professional soldiers, added Surawahadi.
In December last year 16 construction workers were shot and killed at the Trans Papua highway in Nduga following in an attack by the West Papua National Liberation Army (TBNPB) led by Egianus Kogoya.
[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Jaga Pembangunan Trans Papua, TNI Kerahkan 600 Prajurit".]