Antara, Jakarta – Indonesian Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian urged the Indonesian Military (TNI) and National Police to fortify security in Papua following shootings by an armed criminal group in Tembagapura, Papua.
"I certainly urge the National Police chief and TNI commander to add more forces – if necessary – to strengthen security (in Papua). The state must not be defeated by illegal armed groups that break the law," Minister Karnavian affirmed here on Tuesday.
The home affairs minister made the statement after meeting Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD at his office in Jakarta.
Karnavian recalled his two years of experience in handling security problems triggered by armed criminal groups in the province through the use of a soft approach while serving as head of the Papua Regional Police.
The minister remarked that during that time, he had appealed to community leaders, who were respected in Papua, to coordinate with armed groups, so they would stop committing violence.
"In my experience spanning two years, I opted to communicate with them (the armed groups), so they will not resort to violence," he pointed out.
Karnavian called for strict action to be taken if the soft approach failed to be applied and the armed group continued to violate the law and act violently, particularly in the event of civilian victims.
"Soft approach should surely be implemented, but if it cannot be applied and they act violently that result in some victim casualties, then we must act decisively. We must enforce the law against whoever breaks it, and firm action must be taken," he emphasized.
Karnavian also claimed to have coordinated with the Timika local government over the matter of some Tembagapura residents fleeing to Timika to take refuge.