Accusing OPM of rape and murder, TNI commander says they'll fight guns with guns

CNN Indonesia – April 10, 2024
TNI commander General Agus Subiyanto speaking at State Palace – November 23, 2023 (Setkab)

Jakarta – Indonesian military (TNI) Commander General Agus Subiyanto says they have changed the nomenclature used to refer to Terrorist Separatist Groups (KST) in Papua to again become the Free Papua Organisation or OPM because this is the name they use themselves.

"So from they themselves, naming them the TPNPB, the West Papua National Liberation Army, which the same as the OPM", Subiyanto said at the Wisma A. Yani building in Central Jakarta on Wednesday April 10.

Subiyanto said that the OPM has carried out various kinds of terrorist acts ranging from murder to rape. "Now they are committing terror, committing murder, raping teachers, health workers, murdering community members, the TNI, Polri [Indonesian police]", he said.

These kinds of actions, said Subiyanto, cannot be ignored and must be dealt with firmly.

"Why should we remain silent [in the face of actions] like that, they're  combatants carrying weapons. I will act decisively against what is being done by the OPM", he said. "There can be no country within a country", he added.

Furthermore, Subiyanto explained that the operations being carried out in Papua have been adjusted according to the vulnerability index in the region. Thus, the resolution of territorial problems in Papua has its own method. According to Subiyanto, weapons need to be resisted with weapons.

"What's called an operation in an area is a territorial operation, intelligence, combat, [based on] how the vulnerability index is of the regions in these areas. They are different", explained Subiyanto.

"Perhaps in Papua the handling [of the situation] is different from other regions. We have our own methods for solving the problem. Weapons yeah are resisted with weapons", he added. (loa/gil)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "TNI Kembali Labeli Separatis sebagai OPM, Panglima Ungkap Alasannya".]