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TNI changes the term 'KKB', soldiers will not hesitate to take firm action against OPM members

Tempo - April 12, 2024

Yohanes Maharso, Jakarta – Head of the TNI Information Center (Kapuspen), Major General Nugraha Gumilar, explained the purpose of changing the term armed criminal group (KKB) in Papua to the Free Papua Organization (OPM) by the TNI.

Nugraha said the name change from KKB to OPM was made to emphasize that the OPM was a soldier or combatant. According to humanitarian law, combatants have the right to become victims in armed conflicts.

"This can give more confidence to soldiers not to hesitate to take firm action against OPM members. Soldiers on duty need to be protected," Nugraha said when contacted by Tempo on Friday, April 12, 2024.

Nugraha ensured that the TNI would still prioritize territorial operations by inviting all parties to build Papua and prosper the Papuan people. However, Nugraha said if the OPM ignores the TNI's territorial operations, the TNI will take firm action.

"They (OPM) continue to act brutally by burning public facilities, killing, raping, terrorizing and even blocking the TNI who are carrying out their duties as health workers and teachers, of course, strict action will be applied," he said.

Nugraha then quoted the TNI Commander's statement that there should be no state within the state.

TNI Commander General Agus Subiyanto previously confirmed that his agency was again using the Free Papua Organization or OPM for armed groups in Papua.

"So they call themselves TPNPB (West Papua National Liberation Army) together with the OPM," said General Agus Subiyanto at Wisma A. Yani, Menteng, Jakarta, Wednesday, April 10, 2024.

Agus accused the OPM of committing acts of terror, murder, and even rape. The action was carried out against teachers, health workers, the community and TNI/Polri (Indonesian Police) personnel.

"They are combatants who carry weapons. I will take firm action for what the OPM is doing," he said. "There is no country within a country."

Agus Subiyanto also stated that the occupation of Papua was an operation carried out by the government. "There are territorial operations, intelligence operations, depending on the vulnerability index in these areas," he said.

Agus continued that the handling is different from other regions, especially for Papua. The TNI also has a special method for problem-solving. "Weapons are weapons against weapons," he said.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1856001/tni-changes-the-term-kkb-soldiers-will-not-hesitate-to-take-firm-action-against-opm-member