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Activists concerned military reserve component will be used for internal security

Kompas.com - January 25, 2021

Achmad Nasrudin Yahya, Jakarta – The Civil Society Coalition is concerned that the newly established national defense reserve component (komcad) will be used to control domestic security threats.

"The reserve component which has already been prepared and established by the government could be used to confront domestic security threats", said Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) Coordinator Fatia Maulidiyanti in a press release on Tuesday January 25.

The formation of the reserve component is based on Government Regulation Number 3/2021 on Implementing Regulation Number 23/2019 on National Resource Management (PSDN).

Under Article 4 Paragraph (2) of the PSDN Law it states that the formation of the reserve component is aimed at confronting various threats covering military, non-military and hybrid threats.

Referring to this article, the Coalition suspects that the formation of the reserve component is a pretext to confront threats which arise domestically, such as the threat of communism, terrorism and domestic conflicts, which have the potential to give rise to horizontal conflicts in society.

"Yet, the formation and use of the reserve component should be orientated towards supporting the main component of national defence, namely the TNI [Indonesian military] in confronting foreign military threats", said Maulidiyanti.

Maulidiyanti believes that the move to establish the reserve component is rushed. Aside from the questionable urgency in forming it, the regulatory framework in the PSDN Law has fundamental problems.

This is because the SDN Law has stipulations which threaten citizen's constitutional rights and democratic life.

Conversely, if the plan is forced through, the presence of the reserve component will not strengthen national defence but instead will have the potential to give rise to new problems.

"In this context, the government should seriously reflect upon the criticisms and public opposition to the planned establishment of the national defense reserve component", said Maulidiyanti.

Meanwhile the reserve component is defined as a national resource which is prepared and deployed in order to augment and strengthen the forces and capacity of the main component, the TNI.

Under Article 28 of the PSDN Law, its states that the reserve component is comprised of citizens, natural resources, production resources and national facilities and infrastructure.

For citizens who are involved in the reserve component's activities, they will be considered to be serving the national defense effort voluntarily.

There are three units within the reserve component's organisational structure, namely land, sea and air.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Koalisi Masyarakat Sipil Khawatir Komponen Cadangan Timbulkan Konflik Horizontal".]

Source: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2021/01/25/19281771/koalisi-masyarakat-sipil-khawatir-komponen-cadangan-timbulkan-konfli