Welcoming Jokowi's desire for dialogue, Imparsial calls for Papua troop withdrawal

CNN Indonesia – June 16, 2021
315 Garuda Battalion 'Satan troops' departing for West Papua – Undated (Puspen TNI)

Jakarta – Indonesian Human Rights Watch (Imparsial) researcher Hussein Ahmad is calling on the government to withdraw all non-organic Indonesian military (TNI) troops who originate from outside Papua in order to stem the violence which has been taking place in Papua.

This was conveyed in response to a directive by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo that he wants to resolve the problems in Papua without armed conflict.

"This policy must be demonstrated by withdrawing all non-organic TNI troops who originate from outside Papua in order to deescalate the violence that is taking place", Ahmad told CNN Indonesia on Tuesday June 15.

According to Ahmad, what is need right now are efforts to stem the violence and to create a "humanitarian pause" in Papua. One such way is halting armed contacts between government forces and armed groups which have occurred frequently of late.

In addition to this, Ahmad said that security in Papua must be handed over to organic security forces. "This is in order to provide an opportunity for civilians impacted upon by the conflict to return to their normal daily lives", he added.

Ahmad said he appreciated the government's expressed intent to solve the Papua problem without arms. But Ahmad again reminded the government that this intent must be demonstrated concretely on the ground through a clear political policy.

"As an effort to find a permanent solution to the Papua problem in a peaceful and dignified manner", he said.

Widodo's desire to resolve the Papua conflict without arms was revealed by Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs (Menko Polhukam) Mahfud MD.

Mahfud said that Widodo's directive was to use a welfare approach in Papua. The problems in Papua and West Papua provinces cannot be resolved by arms and outbursts of fighting.

"The principle in accordance with the president's directive, is to resolve the problems in Papua not by arms and outbursts [of fighting], but with dialogue for the sake of prosperity", said Mahfud as quoted from the Polhukam YouTube channel on Tuesday.

West Papua National Liberation Army-Free Papua Organisation (TPNPB-OPM) spokesperson Sebby Sambon has welcomed the directive by Widodo to resolve the Papua conflict with dialogue, not just arms.

"We have already proposed negotiations between TPNPB-OPM fighters and the Indonesian government to resolve the armed conflict, but not with the TNI [Indonesian military] and the Polri [Indonesian police]", said Sambon through an SMS sent to CNN Indonesia on Tuesday. (rzr/wis)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Imparsial Minta Penarikan TNI Non-Organik dari Papua".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20210616064744-12-654868/imparsial-minta-penarikan-tni-non-organik-dari-papua