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Continuing to carry out acts of terror, the community supports the government in eradicating KST Papua

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By Marsya Bonay )*

The Papuan Separatist Terrorist Group (KST) carried out another act of terror in Puncak Regency by burning down the honai (a typical Papuan house) and the Gome 1 State Middle School building in Kunga Village, Ilaga District, Central Papua Province on Friday (10/11/2023). KST Papua also shot at military facilities, namely the Preparatory Military Command Post in Gome. 

Head of Public Relations of the Papua Regional Police, Commissioner Pol. Ignatius Benny Ady Prabowo said KST Papua’s actions were discovered after receiving a report from Puncak Police Chief Commissioner I Nyoman Punia who was in the field. Benny explained that the burning of Gome 1 Middle School by KST Papua was discovered at around 17.15 WIT. Apart from that, red flares were also shot 10 times from three different directions.

Before fleeing to Kunga, KST Papua had armed contact with TNI officers. Head of Information for the Joint Regional Defense Command (Kogabwilhan) III, Colonel Czi Gusti Nyoman Suriastawa, said that this firefight occurred after TNI personnel received information from the public about the whereabouts of six suspicious people in Tanah Merah Gome.

Based on this information, personnel from the Mobile Pamtas Task Force Yonif Raider 300/BJW went to Honai to check on the six residents, but when the personnel approached, the six residents who were suspected to be members of KST Papua, shot personnel from the Mobile Pamtas Task Force Yonif Raider 300/BJW. Pamtas Task Force personnel also fired back fire so they were involved in a firefight with the separatist group.

After the firefight, Pamtas Task Force personnel searched the honai used by six KST members and found a number of pieces of evidence in the form of HT radios, binoculars, flashlights and other items. Joint officers from the TNI, Polri and Cartenz Peace Task Force also carried out searches to hunt down KST Papua.

Furthermore, at 20.45 WIT, the latest report was received which stated that one honai was also burned by KST Papua. As a result of this incident, the joint security forces in Puncak Regency are trying to handle this situation. This was done by increasing security to prevent further incidents or retaliation after the separatist group’s actions.

Head of Public Relations of the Papua Police, Benny, admitted that this arson incident shows the ongoing escalation of security disturbances in the Puncak area, Central Papua. However, the authorities will continue to struggle to deal with the KST Papua threat in order to maintain peace and security in the area.

KST Papua’s actions not only attacked, but also spread terror and even killed people. The victims of the KST Papua terror and attacks were not only TNI and Polri personnel, but also civilians.

Seeing the various crimes committed by separatist groups in Papua, the Bishop of Jayapura, Monsignor Yanuarius Theofilus Matopai You, called for an end to violence in Papua. Yanuarius said that in the midst of the TNI-Polri conflict with KST Papua, the majority of victims came from civil society.

Yanuarius urged the government to take firm action to stop violence in Papua, and encouraged dialogue between the central government and the parties involved. Dialogue does not mean that the central government has to accept what the Papuan people say. But hearing what people want to talk about. Because violence in Papua has been going on for decades. So all parties must immediately stop violence which only harms the Papuan people.

The Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Army (KSAD), General Agus Subiyanto, said that an unusual operational concept was needed to resolve the conflict in Papua. Because the Papua conflict has been going on for 62 years and has not yet been resolved, this means that there must be an  out-of-the-box operational concept or conflict management strategy  in Papua. Agus will prioritize  a soft approach  by understanding local wisdom in dealing with conflicts in Papua. Apart from that,   it is also important to maintain a hard approach .

The public views KST Papua as the source of chaos in the land of Papua. This is because KST Papua is not only involved in attacks on security forces and civilians, but also kidnappings and murders. The acts of terror carried out by KST Papua have certainly gone outside the path of Papua’s development framework, which is actually intended for the Papuan people themselves. This means that when development stalls, in the long term it will have an impact on the welfare problems of the Papuan people themselves, such as road access from one region to another, economic growth, and improving the quality of Human Resources (HR) in Papua.

Law enforcement officials must no longer provide space for KST Papua to carry out criminal acts. Moreover, they have attacked and terrorized residents, killing joint security forces and civilians in Papua. KST Papua continues to pose a serious threat to security in the region. Therefore, firm steps are needed to overcome and eradicate Papuan KST in order to protect and ensure the sustainability of development which is important for the progress and welfare of the Papuan people.

)* The author is a student from Papua in Surabaya

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