1) TNI soldiers killed in clash with West Papua liberation army
News Desk The Jakarta Post
Jakarta / Fri, March 8, 2019 / 02:21 pm
Three Indonesian Army (TNI AD) personnel were reportedly killed during an armed conflict with West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) freedom fighters in Nduga regency, Papua, on Thursday morning.
Papua military spokesman Col. Muhammad Aidi said more than 50 TPNPB personnel had attacked 25 soldiers who were just starting their shift to secure the trans-Papua toll road project in Mugi district. He added that the attacking group had been led by Egianus Kagoya.
“The soldiers fought them until they returned to the forest. Three soldiers were killed in the conflict,” he said in a statement received by The Jakarta Post.
The three soldiers are Second Sgt. Mirwaiyadin, Second Sgt. Yusdin and Second Sgt. Siswanto Bayu Aji.
Aidi said further said that Army personnel had secured five weapons from the TPNPB following the clash.
They also found the body of one freedom fighter, who is currently being identified.
He estimated at least seven members of the liberation army had been killed in the fight, but their bodies had been taken away by the group.
Last week, the Indonesian Military (TNI) deployed 600 personnel to Nduga from Makassar, South Sulawesi, following an ambush on bridge workers by rebels.
As for Thursday’s incident, TPNPB spokesman Sebby Sambom claimed that his fighters had killed five TNI personnel and all the rebels had survived.
"We have also secured four weapons from the Indonesian army," he said.
Meanwhile, Aidi refuted Sebby’s claims, saying they were misleading.
“They attacked from the highlands. They wouldn’t dare get close to us. In fact, we secured five of their weapons after chasing them,” he said.
Sebby said the conflict occurred after eight TNI personnel interrogated a resident of Windi village in Derakma district named Amos Kogeya and later burned five traditional houses. (das)
2) President orders handling of armed criminal group problem in Papua
Reporter: Antara 12 hours ago
South Lampung, Lampung (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has ordered security authorities to deal with the issue concerning the armed criminal group in Papua Province following the murders of three military officers by the group on Thursday (Mar 7).
"Yes, I have instructed since the first incident sometime ago to catch them. Finish it," President Jokowi told the press here, Friday.
Difficult terrain and the thick jungles of Papua have hampered efforts by the Indonesian military and police to deal with the group, he added.
Meanwhile, remains of three military officers killed in shootout with armed criminal groups in Mugi, Nduga, Papua, (Mar 7), were flown from Timika, Mimika, to their hometowns in West Nusa Tenggara, Central Java, and South Sulawesi.
In the shootout, 10 members of the criminal group, led by Egianus Kogoya, were killed and five firearms were seized by the Indonesian military.
The 10 bodies of the criminals were taken away by their colleagues.
On December 2, 2018, in Nduga District, the criminal group killed 31 road construction workers from PT Istaka Karya, who were engaged in construction and building the Trans-Papua project in Kali Yigi and Kali Aurak in Yigi Sub-District.
Earlier, Chief of the Papua Provincial Police Inspector General Martuani Sormin had stated that there was no military operation in conflict-plagued Nduga District, Papua Province.
Only law enforcement operation code-named "operasi Nemangkawi" was currently being conducted in the district, he revealed.
The "operasi Nemangkawi" was launched after an armed criminal group shot dead civilians in Nduga, he stated.
Hence, he has urged local residents to not take refuge and believe in hoaxes.
The security agencies will continue to conduct law enforcement operations in the district, as the armed criminal group attacked not only civilians but also security personnel. As a result, construction projects in the district were disrupted, he remarked.
3) Moeldoko Asks for Higher Status Post TNI Killings in Nduga
Translator: Dewi Elvia Muthiariny
Editor: Mahinda Arkiyasa
8 March 2019 23:20 WIB
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko assreted that the operation status of the Indonesia National Army (TNI) in Nduga, Papua must be raised following the killing of three soldiers by an armed criminal group.
"I have said that we need to evaluate the title of an armed criminal group. The question is, are they really a criminal group?" said Moeldoko on Friday, March 8, 2019, at the Bina Graha building, Jakarta. "If I say that they are a separatist group, then so be it. So the operation status can be raised."
Moeldoko said if the group is considered as a criminal group, TNI will always be their prey. TNI recognized their strength, but they could not react as it was the police's authority.
"That's the problem and situation faced by officers in the frontline. Because of what? Because if they are a criminal group, that's not different than a criminal group in Tanah Abang. We need to think further about this issue," Moeldoko underlined.
He admitted that increasing the military operation status in Nduga, Papua was beset by several issues, including foreign politics, that required further discussion with a number of related ministries to prevent TNI officers become victims.
4) Indonesian military dismisses negotiation with Papuan guerillas
9:41 am on 8 March 2019
Indonesia's military says negotiation with the West Papua Liberation Army can only take place if both sides have the same goal.
Humanitarian concern is growing for villagers displaced by armed conflict in the Highlands between the Liberation Army and Indonesia's military.
Indonesian military operations intensified in the region after the Liberation Army massacred at least 16 road construction workers in Nduga regency in December.
The Liberation Army had indicated it was willing to negotiate a peaceful settlement of the conflict.
But Indonesia's military spokesman, Colonel Muhammad Aidi, said this would be difficult.
"The aim of Indonesia's Military is to preserve the sovereignty of the Republic of Indonesia. If the purpose of the "armed criminal group" is to be independent from Indonesia, surely the dialogue or negotiation will never be realised.”