The military in Papua will give maximum assistance to the local police in maintaining security in the concession area of mining company PT Freeport Indonesia in Timika district, its commander, Maj Gen Erfi Triassunu, said.
Erfi made the statement after attending a coordination meeting with the management of PT Freeport Indonesia in response to Papua Police Chief Inspector General Bigman Lumban Tobing`s formal request for military support to secure PT Freeport Indonesia`s concession area.
“We will give maximum support according to our capability. There will be additional safeguards. However, the police`s request is still being processed because all our security activities must be reported to the Army Headquarters in Jakarta,” the commander said.
He said the military would assist the police because PT Freeport Indonesia was an economic object of national significance.
The involvement of the army in securing Freeport was expected to enhance the security system in the company`s mining area where a series of fatal shooting incidents perpetrated by armed group of Free Papua Organization (OPM) had happened in the recent past, he said.
“The measures we will take will remain within the existing rules. The police must remain the responsible party in security affairs because Papua is in a civil order status,” he said.
He said the military would also be involved in maintaining security in Mulia, Puncak Jaya district which was also often hit by the shooting terrors by the armed gangs.
Under provisions of Law No. 34/2004 on the military, the army is also given authority to perform the task of military operations in addition to war (OMSP) in order to cope with separatists, Erfi said.
“We will maintain security together with the police in close coordination,” he added.
Source: ANTARA News