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Worried about Falling Civilian Victims, Government Prioritizes Negotiations Against Papua KST

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By : Hendrik Pattipawae )*

To deal with the Papuan Separatist and Terrorist Group (KST), the government is prioritizing negotiations. The main reason is to avoid civilian casualties, including Papuans.

KST must be severely punished because they disrupt public order. Apart from that, KST also hinders development, because it has several times disrupted the Trans Papua road project. KST must be eradicated because the people of Papua are very disturbed by their actions and there should be no casualties among civilians.

KST led by Egianus Kogoya is still holding Susi Air pilot Phillips Marthen hostage. Until now, Philips has not been released. The government also prepared a ransom of Rp. 5 billion that the group asked for. However, KST still has the ambition to liberate Papua.

Even though the Susi Air pilot has not been released, the government is not standing still. The government and security forces prioritize negotiations in dealing with KST’s actions. Papua Police Chief Inspector General Mathius D. Fahiri said that Rp. The 5 M is prepared as a win-win solution .

He said the request would be granted as long as it was not related to Papuan independence. Then, the money that was also requested will be prepared and handed over to Egianus Kogoya from Capt. Phillips was released and handed over to the security forces.

If they still ask for money or goods, they can still give them, as long as the hostages are released immediately. However, Papuan independence will never happen because according to international and national law, Papua is part of Indonesia. Moreover, KST misfired because the pilot was a foreign citizen, not an Indonesian citizen.

Apart from the ransom scenario, the government is prioritizing the negotiation route to avoid civilian casualties. Even though they could carry out the scorched earth strategy, the security forces did not do it because they were afraid it would cause harm to the Papuan people.

However, the government did not remain silent and carried out peaceful methods and negotiations in dealing with KST. The government thinks about the safety of the Papuan people and doesn’t want them to become victims of KST shootings when there is a shootout with security forces. Therefore, the negotiation path was chosen, the method was through dialogue between traditional leaders and KST leaders. Usually KST respects ondoafi or traditional leaders and follows their advice, so Capt. Phillips was soon released.

Political observer Stanislaus Riyanta stated that the conflict could be resolved through intensive dialogue to overcome the 2 conflicting parties. When there is a conflict that is resolved, there is a middle point that makes both parties reconcile. This is where the role of the regional government, TNI, Polri, and traditional leaders is needed, so that all of them collaborate to bring about peace in Papua.

To increase peace in Papua, the government has taken various approaches. First, the government launched a welfare approach. Vice President KH Ma’ruf Amin stated that the welfare approach would make Papua safer. The welfare work program can be completed soon, and the concrete step is the Master Plan for Accelerated Development

So far, the rebel groups have complained that the government has not paid enough attention to the conditions in Cendrawasih Land. Indeed this is the effect of the centralization carried out by the New Order. However, since there was decentralization and the reform era, the government has been trying hard to develop Papua.

The government’s intention to make Papua prosperous is to start special autonomy (otsus) in 2001. Special autonomy was extended again in 2021 because it has proven to be very useful for the people of Papua. They become more prosperous because they have various facilities and infrastructure, such as the Trans Papua Road, Youtefa Bridge, Sentani International Airport, etc.

The government does intend to make the people of Papua prosperous by improving infrastructure, not by providing social assistance (bansos). The reason is because money can run out, while with infrastructure the effect will be felt for decades to come. If people’s mobility is smooth then their work and business will also be smooth.

When people’s mobility is smooth, Papua will be more peaceful because it minimizes KST disturbances. The reason is because if there is a KST attack, the apparatus can glide quickly on a smooth road. Chaos will be quickly overcome and eventually people will not become victims.

The peace route and negotiations are carried out to eradicate KST while at the same time freeing the Susi Air pilot and the main goal is for the safety of the Papuan people. Their safety comes first, therefore the security forces are very careful in their actions. With negotiations, it is hoped that Capt. Phillips was immediately released and KST could disband immediately.

)* The author is a Papuan student living in Bali

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