Evarukdijati, Rahmad Nasution, Jayapura, Papua – Indonesian Military (TNI) Commander General Andika Perkasa has said he will supervise cases involving grave human rights violations in Papua province.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of a working visit in Jayapura, the capital of Papua province, he said 14 cases of human rights abuses have been reported in Papua, including Paniai.
"I will oversee those cases of human rights (violations)," Perkasa said, adding that several cases are being handled, including the Intan Jaya case, which reportedly led to two civilians going missing.
The legal processes should not merely be directed at individuals who committed the crimes but also their commanding officers, he added.
In the case of the two missing civilians, identified as Luther Zanambani and Apinus Zanambani, the legal process is underway with three suspects handed over to police, he noted.
"The legal process must be carried out as part of (efforts aimed at ensuring) accountability so that the TNI's credibility can be maintained," he added.
The cases of human rights abuses involving the TNI in Papua were among the issues that security minister Mahfud MD discussed with General Perkasa on November 25, 2021.
General Perkasa had paid a courtesy call to the coordinating minister for political, legal, and security affairs.
In a statement issued after the meeting, Mahfud said that they had discussed the Paniai case that was reported in July this year. He also affirmed that for resolving the case, the TNI commander would coordinate with his ministry.
In handling Papua issues, the Indonesian government has adopted an approach based on "prosperity" not "weapons", according to Mahfud MD.
In response to local journalists' question on the sidelines of his working visit in Jayapura city on Wednesday, General Perkasa said he would emphasize "social communication" to deal with Papuan groups.
The social communication-based approach will be adopted as an effort to avoid falling victim to the conflict, he said.
General Perkasa was sworn in by President Joko Widodo as the TNI commander on November 17, 2021, in place of Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, who will retire, at the age of 58, on November 8, 2021.
Papua issues will pose a challenge during Perkasa's leadership as armed conflicts are still occurring in Papua and West Papua though the central and regional governments are making the utmost efforts to improve the welfare of local communities by intensifying regional development, observers have said.