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Government Anticipates Papuan KST Threat Ahead of 2024 Election 


By : Alvaro Hukubun )*

Currently, Indonesia is entering a political year, where the Indonesian Government is taking anticipatory steps ahead of the 2024 elections in Papua, to overcome the potential threat of KST (Social Conflict and Terrorism). Efforts to intensify dialogue with community groups and increase security in the region are the main focus in maintaining stability during the upcoming election period.

The election stages are of particular concern to the government, especially conflict-prone areas. Responding to this, Deputy V Bidkoor Kamtibmas of the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Inspector General of Police Rudolf Alberth Rodja said that security in the Papua region during the 2024 elections is one of the concerns of Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD.

The 2024 simultaneous elections will enter a crucial stage. Organizers are required to be professional and proportional. This is a challenge in itself for the government in the Papua region. Not only security and social security vulnerabilities, geographical factors and regional characteristics in the land of Papua, if not managed well, will become a potential conflict in the 2024 simultaneous elections. 

Inspector General Pol Rodja also reminded a number of things that need to be used as evaluation material for election organizers and security forces in Papua. Some of this is the experience of horizontal rioting conflicts during elections in previous years. Apart from that, there are also vulnerabilities due to technical problems such as a shortage of human resources, limited facilities, and excessive workloads. In the previous year’s election, this large workload also caused a number of election organizers in Papua to die.

The conflicts that often occur in the Papua region are threats from members of the Papua Separatist Terrorist Group (KSTP) who always want to liberate the Papua region from Indonesia. KST Papua is taking advantage of the situation ahead of the 2024 elections to provoke and cause commotion in the Papua region.

Regarding this matter, one of the Papuan traditional leaders, Herman Albert Yoku, was really angry at seeing incident after incident carried out by KST on Bumi Cenderawasih. For this reason he condemned the group in every way. The reason is, this group has carried out various series of crimes that have violated human rights (HAM).

In facing the threats from KST Papua, military observer Susaningtyas Nefo Handayani Kertapati believes that the terrorist separatist group (KST) in Papua can be resolved at its roots. Susaningtyas said that entering the political year, Papuan separatism should be resolved completely at the national and international levels.

Furthermore, Susaningtyas said that entering 2024, the TNI should focus on improving itself to be able to resolve Papuan separatism. By comprehensively resolving Papuan separatism, the Indonesian nation can hold the stages of the Presidential Election, Legislative Election and Regional Election without disrupting domestic security stability while the TNI can concentrate on regional geopolitics. 

Strengthening security in Papua is the government’s top priority ahead of the 2024 elections. Increasing the presence of security forces, both at the national and local levels, aims to create a safe environment for the election process. Strict monitoring is carried out to identify and respond to potential KST threats before they develop into serious threats.

The strategy in question includes the TNI and Polri preparing professional and trained security personnel, preparing facilities and infrastructure, main equipment, and special equipment. This is because the elections were held simultaneously so there were no security personnel to assist other regional units.

Currently, security forces will conduct safaris held by the regional police and other security institutions in four regions. The 2024 Election Safari activity aims to strengthen synergy between the TNI, Polri, Regional Government and Election organizers in making the 2024 Election a success in South Papua Province. 

Supporting safari activities to maintain regional security from the threat of KST Papua, Brigadier General TNI Ahmad Fauzi Cendrawasih as Kapoksahli Kodam XVII/Cendrawasih explained that the TNI has a multifunctional role which has prepared them to support the success of the 2024 elections.

Ahmad Fauzi said that Kodam XVII/Cendrawasih had prepared troops to maintain security for the 2024 elections and had identified vulnerable points that would be secured during the elections. We are aware of the potential for various vulnerabilities during the election and are working together to anticipate these potential vulnerabilities in their areas,

Apart from security forces, other ministries also help in anticipating threats arising from KST Papua. There is a need to optimize the function of community early warning forums at the provincial and district/city levels. The KPU is also collaborating in providing logistical distribution support for the 2024 Election, especially for underdeveloped, frontier and outermost (3T) areas. Meanwhile, Bawaslu was asked to increase community resilience from the dangers of provocation, especially on social media, by intensifying outreach and education.

Synergy is needed from all parties, especially the TNI and Polri, in ensuring a safe and conducive security and social security situation from all forms of KST Papua threats to collaborate to make the 2024 elections a success.

The government has prepared all kinds of strategies in an effort to anticipate the security of the Papua region from the KST group, thereby reducing the possibility of them doing whatever they want and further disrupting the security and stability of the country.

)* The author is a Papuan student living in Jakarta

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