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Security chief insists troop withdrawals from conflict areas impossible

CNN Indonesia - March 11, 2020

Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Mahfud MD has scolded non-government organisations (NGOs) who frequently cite the TNI (Indonesian military) and Polri (Indonesian police) for creating problems and committing human rights (HAM) violations in conflict prone areas.

Moreover, he said, there have been quite a lot of requests for the TNI and Polri to be withdrawn from conflict prone regions.

"In the language of the NGOs, the language of the civil movements, they always say that the TNI and Polri create problems, must be withdrawn, violate HAM, yes well it's not possible okay", said Mahfud at the Pullman Hotel in West Java on Wednesday March 11.

Requests that the TNI and Polri no longer be deployed, said Mahfud, are often related to calls for an end to militarism in conflict areas.

Yet, said Mahfud, it is impossible for the TNI and Polri to be banned from entering these areas because their duty and obligation is to safeguard the country.

"How could I say that a country is banning the TNI and Polri from going in to safeguard the country, impossible", said Mahfud.

Mahfud claimed that he does not agree with any parties who make an issue out of the TNI and Polri's presence in certain areas. Because, he said, it is not the problem of placement which should be questioned but coordination between difference institutions which needs to be forged.

"I absolutely disagree with questioning the presence of the TNI and Polri in a region, they must be there. All that remains is how to coordinate it", he said.

"How could the country withdraw the TNI and Polri from there, it would be destroyed. Just withdrawing them for a day it would be destroyed. Yes they must be present there. All that remains is how to make it more humanitarian, prioritising a welfare approach", he explained. (tst/gil)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Mahfud MD Sentil LSM Kerap Labeli TNI Polri Biang Masalah".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20200311165256-20-482554/mahfud-md-sentil-lsm-kerap-labeli-tni-polri-biang-masalah