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Growing concerns spark calls for evaluation as troop deployment intensifies conflict in Papua

Tabloid Jubi - June 14, 2023

Jayapura, Jubi – The deployment of military troops to Papua has prompted calls for evaluation. The presence of numerous troops has intensified the armed conflict in the region and heightened tensions.

Anum Latifah Siregar, the director of the Democracy Alliance for Papua, stressed the importance of assessing the deployment procedures for these troops.

During a public lecture organized by the International Relations Study Program of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences at Cenderawasih University, Siregar highlighted that the deployment of troops for military operations other than war has granted the central government the ultimate decision-making power over security policies in Papua. This transfer of authority has implications for the region's governance and autonomy.

The escalating conflict and the centralization of security policies have raised questions about the feasibility of engaging in constructive dialogue to address the underlying issues. Siregar's remarks shed light on the complex dynamics at play and the need for a comprehensive evaluation of the troop deployment and its implications for Papua.

According to the Democracy Alliance for Papua, a significant number of security forces with combat and intelligence qualifications, totaling 9,205 individuals, were deployed to Papua in 2022. Among them were 7,850 TNI soldiers and 1,355 police personnel.

As reported by the 2022 Papua Human Rights Commission, there were 10 casualties among TNI soldiers and 14 others who sustained injuries. Additionally, four policemen lost their lives, and three others were injured during the same year. Meanwhile, five members of the TPNPB lost their lives, a total of 39 civilians died, and ten civilians were injured throughout 2022.

Siregar pointed out that the deployment of troops to Papua had not followed the correct procedures thus far. The deployment for military operations other than war should require approval from the House of Representatives. Siregar doubted whether the President as the highest command sought such approval. It appears that this step was omitted.

Meanwhile, Septer Manufandu, the coordinator of the Papua Peace Network (JDP), said peaceful dialogue was the most effective approach to resolve the conflict that did not entail sacrificing lives.

Manufandu mentioned that JDP had developed the Jakarta-Papua peace dialogue concept, which had been disseminated in 42 districts in Papua through different approaches. He hoped that all conflicting parties and those impacted by the conflict would support peaceful dialogue as the pathway to resolution.

Source: https://en.jubi.id/growing-concerns-spark-calls-for-evaluation-as-troop-deployment-intensifies-conflict-in-papua