Azizah Fitriyanti, Jakarta – The Indonesian Foreign Ministry said it will take steps against "irresponsible and misleading" report by Australia's The Saturday Paper about recent Papua's Nduga incident in which tens of Indonesian construction workers had been killed by "armed criminals" believed to be separatists.
The Foreign Ministry denied the report issued on Saturday accusing the Indonesian government of using chemical weapons in security operation in Nduga.
The accusation is entirely "baseless, not factual and totally misleading," the foreign office said in a statement, but it did not go into details about the steps to be taken.
The Foreign Ministry described the report "very regrettable and irresponsible" and strongly denied the allegation about the use of chemical weapons.
The Ministry said Indonesia as a member of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has not even one of the chemicals listed in the Convention of Chemical Weapons.
As for the use of the military involvement in security operation in Papua, the Ministry said it was not as described by The Saturday Paper. The role of the military is very limited to assisting in law enforcement not for military operation.
The Ministry said the Paper belittled the urgency of what had happened in Nduga where 19 innocence civilians were murdered by a group of armed separatists on Dec. 2, 2018.
The civilians were all construction workers building part of the Trans Papua highway, a national project to improve the welfare of all Indonesians in Papua, it said.
The Saturday Paper published in its edition No 236 an article titled "Exclusive: Chemical weapons dropped on Papua" with photograph.