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Army deserter allegedly sells arms to Papua rebels

Jakarta Globe - June 5, 2024

Sevianto Pakiding, Timika – Authorities have arrested an army deserter and a civilian for allegedly selling firearms to rebel groups in Papua, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

Markus Richardo Okoseray, who had been discharged from the Indonesian Army for leaving his duties without permission, was arrested in the Depapre district of Jayapura on Monday by the Cartenz Peace Operation Task Force, a joint force of the police and military combating rebellion in the easternmost province.

A day later, a farmer identified as Petrus Oyaitouw, 74, was apprehended for allegedly supplying firearms to the former soldier, said task force spokesman Bayu Suseno.

Petrus resides in the Heram district in the city of Jayapura. During interrogation, Markus admitted to acquiring two pistols from Petrus and reselling one to a rebel group, Bayu said.

"The two men are part of an arms trade network that supplies firearms and ammunition to the Sepi Klembiab group, a rebel cell operating in the Tabi area of Papua," Bayu said.

They are being held at the task force's detention facility in Jayapura for further investigation, from which the task force expects to gain information about other members of the arms network and the rebel group, Bayu added.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/army-deserter-allegedly-sells-arms-to-papua-rebel