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Civil Society Coalition again urges Jokowi stop using security approach in Papua

Kompas.com - September 9, 2022

Jakarta – The Civil Society Coalition for Security Sector Reform has again called on President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to immediately stop using a militaristic security approach in dealing with the Papua problem.

According to the Coalition, the government should handle the crisis in Papua by providing solutions to deal with the roots of the problem, and stop using a militaristic approach which has the potential to trigger acts of violence and human rights violations.

"[We] urged the president to stop [using a] militaristic approach to resolve the conflicts taking place in Papua. Because a security approach has been proven to be ineffective in resolving the problems and instead results in a massive number of incidents of human rights violations", read a Coalition press release on Friday September 9.

According to the Coalition, referring to research by the Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI), there are at least four basic problems in Papua, namely the failure of development, marginalisation and discrimination of indigenous Papuans, human rights violations and the history and politics of the Papuan territory.

"Unfortunately, the identification of these four basic problems has not been followed up by peaceful efforts in the form of a dialog approach", said the Coalition.

The Coalition also urged TNI (Indonesian military) commander General Andika Perkasa to immediately and dishonorably discharge all of the TNI personnel who are alleged to be involved in incidents of violence and human rights violations.

The Coalition said that TNI personnel have been involved in a number of acts of violence in Papua such as the murder and mutilation of civilians in Mimika on August 22.

In this incident, six Army personnel from the Kostrad (Army Strategic Reserves Command) 20/Ima Jaya Keramo Infantry Brigade were involved in the murder and mutilation of four civilians.

A week ago, on August 30 to be precise, there was another act of violence in Mappi involving four civilian victims, one of which died. It is strongly suspected that the perpetrators are TNI personnel from a unit with the Raider 600/Modang Infantry Battalion Task Force.

According to the Coalition, these cases reflect the fact that the principles of respect, protection and fulfillment of human rights is a serious problem which needs to be applied rather than a security approach in dealing with the Papua conflict.

"The Civil Society Coalition for Security Sector Reform strongly condemns all forms of violence against indigenous Papuans (OAP) committed by security forces", continued the press release.

"A series of humanitarian tragedies has continued to occur and be repeated against civilians in Papua, which shows the character of a state which is not taking responsibility for providing protection for rights and a sense of safety for every Papuan person", read the release.

According to the Coalition's records, between January and August this year there has been eight incidents of violence committed by TNI personnel. The incidents have been spread across the Papua region from Jayapura to Mappi, Sinak, Intan Jaya, Maybrat, Manokwari and Mimika.

The types of violence cover sexual violence, mistreatment, torture, intimidation and shootings. At least 18 civilians have fallen victim to violence by TNI personnel, seven of which died.

In addition to this, the Coalition also noted that there were 27 incidents of violence committed by Polri (Indonesian police) personnel between January and July 2022.

These incidents involved 118 civilians and were spread across the regions of Yahukimo, Mimika, Jayapura, Nabire, Timika, Wamena, Sorong and Paniai. Out of the hundreds of victims, three died.

Meanwhile the types of violence covered the forced disbursal of demonstrators, arbitrary arrests, mistreatment, intimidation and shootings.

The Coalition is also urging the government to immediately carry out reform to the military justice system.

"From the beginning, we consider military justice has caused many problems ranging from the process which is not accountable to becoming a vehicle for impunity", read the press release.

The Coalition is also urging Indonesian police chief General Listyo Sigit Prabowo fully investigate the incidents of violence in Papua. They are also asking Polri to provide the widest possible legal access and information related to the legal process that is taking place to the families of the victims of violence.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was " Koalisi Sipil Kembali Desak Jokowi Hentikan Pendekatan Militer di Papua".]

Source: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2022/09/09/15470001/koalisi-sipil-kembali-desak-jokowi-hentikan-pendekatan-militer-di-papu