Chief of Staff of the Cendrawasih Military Command Brigadier General Indra Hidayat said National Defense Forces (TNI) personnel were in Papua for peaceful purposes.
“They are present in Papua to maintain peace. In fact, some of them have died during their tours in this region. So please stop blaming or pointing fingers at TNI personnel over recent events in Papua,” he said here on Wednesday (23/11). He spoke after a meeting with Papua Governor Syamsul Ariv Rivai, Chairman of the Regional Legislative Council Jhon Ibo, Papua district chiefs, police and armed forces personnel stationed in Papua province.
“Our job is to maintain peace. But many times we are insulted or even shot at. Our soldiers are only defending themselves but there are always people calling them human right offenders, while the media sometimes publish news without first checking the validity of their information,” he added.
Indra said the TNI actually already knew the masterminds of the terror attacks that had happened in the region but always chose to apply a persuasive approach towards them.
“We could have just cracked down on and arrest them but because we adhere to humanitarian considerations, we always resort to persuasive approaches. We don`t want Papuans to resent our presence here,” he said.
Indra called on all elements of Papua`s community to cooperate in creating a conducive situation in the province.
Source: ANTARA News