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Encouraging cross-sectoral synergy  to prevent KST disruption during the 2024 elections

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By : Aprilia Nova Salabay )*

All state institutions need to strengthen cross-sector synergy to ensure the creation of a sense of security and comfort from the Papuan Separatist and Terrorist Group (KST) which continues to pose threats and has the potential to increase vulnerability in the upcoming 2024 elections in Papua.

Over recent times, KST has become a source of conflict for the Papuan people. This is because KST’s brutal actions can attack anyone, both security forces and civil society. It was reported that KST had attacked TNI members who were on duty to protect the community on Thursday (30/11) in Paro District, Nduga Regency, Papua Mountains. According to the Head of Information for Kostrad Colonel (Inf) Hendhi Yustian, this incident resulted in two TNI personnel from the 411/Pandawa Mechanized Raider Battalion of the TNI AD Strategic Reserve Command (Kostrad) being shot dead.

Previously, four Pandawa Kostrad soldiers were killed and two others were injured after a firefight with KST in Paro District, Nduga, Saturday (25/11). Regarding this matter, Mimika Hospital Public Relations Officer Lucky Makahena said that the four fallen soldiers were laid to rest at Yonif 754 Headquarters before being flown to their respective areas of origin. Meanwhile, the condition of the other two soldiers gradually improved and stabilized after receiving treatment at Mimika Regional Hospital. Therefore, the issue of security instability that often occurs in Papua has also become a concern for state agencies to strengthen mutual coordination, especially ahead of the elections.

The Coordinating Ministry for Politics, Law and Security (Kemenko Polhukam) continues to monitor and also prevent potential vulnerabilities or disturbances in the implementation of the upcoming elections. Monitoring was carried out in conjunction with security forces from joint personnel consisting of the Indonesian National Army (TNI) and the Indonesian National Police (Polri).

Because it is still related to the General Election, the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs is also collaborating with election implementing parties such as the General Election Commission (KPU) in the Papua region. Deputy for Political Coordination at the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Major General (Mayjen) TNI Heri Wiranto said that there were at least ten vulnerabilities in the implementation of the elections.

Of the ten potential vulnerabilities, all of them will always be followed as to how they develop, including what the situation is like in Papua, of course all of them will continue to be monitored based on the various elements that exist there. One of the things that is considered very important and should not be overlooked in monitoring is the developments and movements carried out by KST Papua.

Therefore, the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs has included the potential for disturbances by separatist gangs in Bumi Cenderawasih as one of the vulnerabilities in the upcoming 2024 elections which must be continued to be anticipated.

The Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs government together with several ministries or other related institutions, including political parties (parpol) and also all elements of society, carry out coordination meetings (rakor). This coordination meeting activity was carried out to be able to see what developments in security stability were like ahead of the upcoming elections.

The government also invites all parties, including the nation’s future young generation, so that everyone can follow each other’s developments regarding security stability activities. Moreover, in the political field such as holding elections.

This coordination meeting activity is a follow-up effort from the 2024 Election coordination section formed by the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs. The entire division consists of 15 ministries and institutions such as the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and others, election organizers such as the KPU, Bawaslu and elements of community organizations.

The Election Coordination Desk that was formed has the task of monitoring and ensuring that all stages of the General Election can run smoothly. It cannot be denied that the potential for security disturbances that could be carried out by KST in several areas in Papua continues to worry various parties.

Meanwhile, the TNI Commander, General Agus Subiyanto, said that he has three priority issues that will be resolved, namely the issue of security in Papua, then there is also the issue of natural disaster management and the 2024 elections. These priority issues are part of the development of the strategic environment (Banglistra ). 

He will use a  smart power approach  or a combination of  soft  and  hard power  simultaneously, which means continuing to prioritize territorial operations. Meanwhile, the  hard power approach  is used against combatants.

The TNI Commander admitted that gangs threatening state stability who use weapons will also be fought using weapons, because all security forces in Indonesia are highly trained.

Regarding monitoring the 2024 elections, primarily ensuring the neutrality of the authorities, he said that he had prepared a complaint post regarding the TNI’s neutrality in each region. If there are TNI members who are proven to be not neutral, they can immediately report it to the command post.

The existence of KST Papua further increases the potential for vulnerability in the implementation of the 2024 elections, especially in Bumi Cenderawasih itself. To anticipate this so that it does not get worse, the government through the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs is implementing various strategic steps, including establishing cross-sectoral coordination.

)* Papuan Students Live in Kalimantan

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