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Government official admits new Papua provinces to counter OPM, exploit natural resources

MRP Papua - July 1, 2022

Jakarta – The Papua People's Council (MRP) says that a Coordinating Ministry for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs (Kemenko Polhukam) deputy told them that the creation of new autonomous regions (DOB) in Papua is to narrow the space for the West Papua National Liberation Army-Free Papua Movement (TNPB-OPM) to move.

MRP Chairperson Timotius Murib said that the Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Mahfud MD [also] made the statement during a meeting between the Kemenko Polhukam and the MRP.

Murib said that during the meeting, the MPR received a great deal of input from the Kemenko Polhukam.

"One of the deputies told the MRP that the MPR should know that the DOB is an activity by the state to narrow the TNPB-OPM or KKB's [armed criminal groups] space to move", said Murib during a virtual press conference on Thursday June 30.

Murib said that the deputy also said that the government will build large numbers of regional police (Polda) headquarters and regional military commands (Kodam),

Because of this, the MRP believes that the creation of new autonomous regions in Papua was aimed at bringing more military into Papua and encircling the TPNPB.

According to Murib, the government is not prioritising the interests of the ordinary people but rather the desire to exploit natural resources in Papua. "And they want to build [more] Polda, Kodam, in the near future", said Murib.

Murib revealed that there were many people who heard the statement by the deputy. The MRP believes that it is no longer a secret that the government is pursuing natural resources in Papua and ignoring the interests of local populations.

According to Murib, the government also wants to exploit natural resources without being disturbed by other parties by bringing in large numbers of military personnel.

"But brought in so when I manage natural resources in Papua no one disrupts it. Because the country's debt is indeed very big at the moment", they said.

Earlier on June 30, the House of Representatives (DPR) enacted three laws on the establishment of new provinces in Papua, namely Central Papua, the Papua Highlands and South Papua.


The original text of the second paragraph in which Murib says that Mahfud MD made the statement, rather than the unnamed deputy, read, "Ketua Majelis Rakyat Papua (MRP), Timotius Murib mengatakan, bawahan Menko Polhukam, Mahfud MD menyampaikan pernyataan itu dalam salah satu pertemuan Kemenko Polhukam dengan MRP".

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Majelis Rakyat Papua: Bawahan Mahfud Sebut DOB Papua Tuk Persempit OPM".]

Source: https://mrp.papua.go.id/2022/07/01/majelis-rakyat-papua-bawahan-mahfud-sebut-dob-papua-tuk-persempit-opm