Lawmakers want government to push UN to declare OPM a terrorist organisation

CNN Indonesia – December 13, 2018
Trans Papua road project in Nduga (CNN)
Trans Papua road project in Nduga (CNN)

Jakarta – House of Representatives (DPR) Speaker Bambang Soesatyo from the Golkar Party is asking the government to urge the United Nations to designate the Free Papua Movement (OPM) as a terrorist organisation.

“In line with the UN’s own definition, they have murdered brutally and terrorised innocent civilians”, said Soesatyo at a DPR plenary meeting at the parliamentary complex in Jakarta on Thursday December 13.

Soesatyo said that the recent shooting of scores of PT Istaka Karya employees in Nduga, Papua, was beyond the bounds and can be categorised as an act of terror.

The OPM said Soesatyo, also has a clear demand, namely Papuan independence. Because of this, the movement can be characterised as separatist. “So we can pressure the UN for the OPM organisation to be [designated] a terrorist organisation”, said Soesatyo.

In addition to this, Soesatyo is urging the government to take firmer and harder action over this act of terror because this is not the first time that such acts of violence have taken place in Papua.

One such measure would be to send troops to conduct a military operation in addition to war (OMSP). Soesatyo said that this can be done based on Law Number 5/2018 on the Eradication of Terrorism.

A similar view was expressed by DPR Commission I member Sukamta from the Islamic based Justice and Prosperity Party (PKS) faction during an interruption in the plenary meeting.

According to Sukamta the government can’t just stop at designating the group that shot the Trans Papua road project workers in Nduga as an Armed Criminal Group (KKB, the government’s term for the OPM).

“We hope that the government will issue a government regulation related to OMSP so that it can be used to overcome the terrorist problem in Papua”, he said.

He said that a government regulation on OMSP would represent a follow up to Law Number 34/2004 on the TNI (Indonesian military) and the anti-terrorist law. With such a regulation we can protect Papuan communities from the threat of armed groups.

Earlier TNI commander Air Martial Hadi Tjahjanto stated that they would arrest and charge the perpetrators of this humanitarian crime and that they would be taken to trial and held accountable for their actions.

National Police public relations division public information bureau chief Brigadier General Dedi Prasetyo meanwhile has said that the weapons used in the Nduga shooting have been identified as weapons smuggled into Indonesia from Papua New Guinea and the Philippines. (swo/pmg)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “DPR Minta Pemerintah Desak PBB Jadikan OPM Organisasi Teroris”.]