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News about the arrest of members of the Papuan Separatist and Terrorist Group (KST) in Puncak Ilaga, Papua, by the Cartenz Peace Operations Task Force (Satgas) on Sunday, February 18 2024, marked an important step in the Indonesian government’s efforts to tackle the conflict in the Papua region. This action is concrete evidence of a strong commitment to creating peace and security for the Papuan people.

The Cartenz Peace Operations Task Force has succeeded in arresting one KST member in Puncak Ilaga, Papua. Head of Peace Operations Cartenz Police Commissioner (Kombes Pol) Faizal Ramadhani said the arrests were made after his party received information about the existence of a group of suspicious people from the local community. After that, Faizal said that his members carried out searches around the capital of Ilaga District near the Ilaga Koramil, Papua. At that time, he said, his party found KST Papua member Alenus Tabuni alias Kobuter near the Ilaga Health Center, Puncak.

The Cartenz Peace Ops Task Force in the Puncak area finally arrested one KST Papua member, namely Alenus Tabuni alias Kobuter, when he joined the community who were standing in front of the Puskesmas. During the arrest process, Faizal said that his party also confiscated a number of pieces of evidence in the form of cash, an iron file, and also a Nokia brand cellphone. Faizal said that currently the perpetrator is also being intensively questioned at the Puncak Police. Due to this incident, Faizal then asked the public to immediately report to local officers if they found suspicious activity in order to maintain security in the Puncak area, Papua. This is also to support security forces in providing security guarantees in Puncak Regency.

Papua has long been in the international spotlight because of the ongoing armed conflict between the Indonesian government and a number of separatist groups, including KST Papua. This conflict has caused suffering for the Papuan people and hampered development in the region. Therefore, the arrest of the Papuan KST members is a very positive step in maintaining stability and realizing the peace that many parties have long dreamed of.

The Cartenz Peace Operations Task Force has shown extraordinary dedication and professionalism in carrying out their duties. Through this operation, they not only succeeded in arresting Papuan KST members, but also sent a clear message that the state will not tolerate criminal and violent acts that threaten the security of Papuans and Indonesians in general.

Apart from that, the Indonesian government’s actions in eradicating KST Papua also reflect its commitment to fighting for human rights and justice for all citizens, including Papuans. By enforcing law and order, the government seeks to create an environment conducive to development and progress in Papua.

KST Papua has not only spread terror to the community, it has even disrupted the implementation of the 2024 elections. KST Papua has reportedly seized election logistics at the Hitadipa airport, Intan Jaya Regency, Central Papua. Temporary Deputy Head of Information for Kodam (Kapendam)

Lt. Col. Candra said that 119 election logistics ballot boxes were confiscated by KST Papua. Meanwhile, the remaining 171 ballot boxes have not been transported and are still in Nabire Regency. Not only did they steal ballot boxes, KST Papua also abused an election official named ZU who was overseeing the distribution of election logistics. Apart from stealing the ballot box, KST Papua also took place beating ZU’s brother at the head who was an official of the Hitadipa District. Which caused Brother ZU not to dare return to Hitadipa District. Lt. Col. Candra revealed that his party was still investigating KST Papua’s motives for seizing or sabotaging election logistics. Apart from that, security patrols and vigilance will continue to be increased, so that all stages of the elections in Intan Jaya Regency can run safely and smoothly.

However, the arrest of KST Papua members is only part of a larger solution in resolving the conflict in Papua. Apart from military action, a comprehensive approach is also needed, including dialogue between the government and the groups involved, economic development, community empowerment, and the fulfillment of human rights.

The Indonesian government needs to continue to encourage these efforts in a sustainable manner, by involving all relevant parties, both at the local, national and international levels. Peace in Papua is not an easy goal, but with strong commitment and good cooperation, it is not something impossible to achieve.

As Indonesian citizens, we all also have a responsibility to support the government’s efforts to create peace in Papua. We need to unite and work together to overcome the problems that have disrupted peace and security in the region. Only in this way can Papua become a safe and prosperous place for everyone who lives there.

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