Ray Jordan, Lampung – President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo insists that work on the Trans Papua road project will continue despite the recent shooting of construction workers in Nduga regency, Papua.
Widodo is asking that all infrastructure projects and Trans Papua workers always be accompanied by security personnel.
For the moment, Widodo said that the government will prioritise the evacuation of the victims of the shooting by the Armed Criminal Group (KKB, the term used by the government for the West Papuan liberation army) in Nduga.
“Yes this is because there is still a process there that isn’t finished yet, we will prioritise the evacuation as quickly as possible. After that construction will continue”, Widodo told journalists at the Mahligai Agung Convention Hall at the Bandar Lampung University in Lampung City, North Sumatra, on Thursday December 6.
Widodo asserted that wherever construction work is being carried out in Papua workers must be accompanied by members of the security forces in order to provide a sense of safety.
“I want to convey that wherever construction work is going on it is always accompanied by security personnel in order to truly provide security guarantees for workers who are working in the field, in the jungles, in preparing infrastructure, particularly roads in the land of Papua which will never stop, but will continue regardless”, he said.
Widodo explained that the government’s goal is to continue development in Papua in order to create a sense of social justice in eastern Indonesia. Widodo said he wants all of Indonesian society to experience this development.
“This is to provide infrastructure in the land of Papua and secondly also social justice for all Indonesian people to address the discrepancies in infrastructure between Java and Papua, between the east and west, that is what we can truly pursue”, explained Widodo.
Earlier national police chief General Tito Karnavian said that the KKB group led by Egianus Kogoya – which is suspected of carrying out the shooting of workers on the Trans Papua road project – number no more than 50 people who have around 20 firearms.
“We are now sending a joint Polri-TNI [national police-Indonesian military] team, led directly by the Kapolda [regional police chief] and the Pangdam [regional military commander] to move in there. The force is not large, around 30-50 people with 20 firearms”, Karnavian said at the State Palace in Central Jakarta on Wednesday December 5. (jor/zak)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Jokowi Minta Pekerja Trans Papua Selalu Didampingi Aparat Keamanan”.]