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Armed groups infiltrate Papuan cities: BIN

Jakarta Post - June 9, 2012

Bagus BT Saragih, Jakarta – National Intelligence Agency (BIN) Lt. Gen. Marciano Norman said on Friday law enforcement and military officers had begun screening for weapons after identifying that armed groups had infiltrated Papuan cities.

"We are now deepening our investigation and looking for information on where these groups are coming from and who they are," Marciano told reporters before departing for Ambon, Maluku, for an official presidential visit.

He added that these groups had usually been stationed in remote areas but occasionally entered cities and towns with the help of their associates updating them with information about the movements of law enforcement and military officers.

Marciano added the police and military forces had begun screening some cities and looking for weapons held by unauthorized civilians.

"I hope Papuans support the efforts and help provide us information should they see civilians with firearms," Marciano said.

He added his office had preliminary information about the profile of the armed groups, "but it is not good to let you have this information."

Marciano denied reports saying that hundreds of homes in Wamena had been burned by military officers. "There were only several houses and some motorcycles burned," he said.

The head of government-sanctioned Presidential Unit for the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua (UP4B), Lt. Gen. (ret.) Bambang Darmono, acknowledged that the situation in certain areas in Papua could no longer be determined as conducive.

"And yet many incidents are left unresolved. This has prompted many to speculate over what is actually behind this violence," he said, adding that the police must probe the incidents immediately to help smooth his unit's programs.

An independent human rights group, West Papua Media, has accused the Indonesian Military (TNI) and police as those responsible for the deaths of eight civilians during Thursday's rampage in Wamena, Papua.