Jakarta – The police are reinforcing five newly formed regional police units in five regencies of the restive Papua province, which has been rocked by unrest over the past few months.
Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw said that officials were ready to be placed at five new police precincts in Puncak, Intan Jaya, Deiyai, Yalimo and Nduga, and that their respective chiefs had been inaugurated in the capital, Jayapura.
"We are transferring personnel to the new police precincts, [however] we are not yet able to assign all of them at once, most likely only about 30 percent of them now. That is good enough," Paulus said as quoted by Antara on Monday.
The five regencies have seen outbreaks of violence, sometimes involving armed assailants.
In Nduga on Saturday, an officer of the police's Mobile Brigade was shot in the thigh by a person the police claimed was member of an armed criminal group (KKB) operating in the area.
Paulus said that following the incident, the situation had returned to relative normalcy.
"Indeed, one of our officers was shot on his left thigh while chasing KKB members who carried out attacks around the Kenyam Airport complex on Saturday. But overall, it has been relatively under control," Paulus said.
Clashes and fatal shootouts between security personnel and armed assailants have also been reported in the other regencies. Two military officers and a policeman were killed in Intan Jaya in December while on security duty as the district prepared for Christmas celebrations.
Paulus hoped that the presence of the five new police precincts would strengthen communication and guidance and would help local communities in the areas.
"I advise the people in the five areas to accept and build harmonious communication with our personnel who will be serving in these areas," he said.
Paulus said the police would gradually establish a headquarters for the five new precincts and would continue to equip personnel so that their duties at the district level would run optimally.
In the meantime, the police would ask the local administrations to lend building and housing facilities to be used as temporary dormitories and barracks by police personnel serving in the areas, he said. (syk)