Tag Archives: Military

Australia urged to help modernise Indonesia defence

Australia is being urged to support modernisation of Indonesia’s military so that its capability is shaped in a way that suits our interests.

In a new Australian Strategic Policy Institute study, ASPI analyst Benjamin Schreer says that could include improving Indonesian capability to safeguard its exclusive economic zone.

Maritime surveillance could be shared with Australia providing data from its Jindalee Operational Radar Network which can cover almost all of Indonesia.

The study says Indonesia could share data from its new maritime surveillance systems and Australia could share use of the Cocos Islands for maritime surveillance and patrol operations.

Dr Schreer said a democratic, militarily more-outward-looking Indonesia was in Australia’s strategic interest.

“The Australian government should seek to shape Indonesia’s defence capability in a way that suits out interests,” he said.

Dr Schreer said Indonesia had expressed ambitions for an expanded defence force in the past but the military, known as TNI, was far from reaching its plans.

In its 2010 Strategic Defence Plan, Indonesia unveiled plans for a navy of 274 ships and 12 submarines, a modernised air force including 10 fighter squadrons and a more agile army with tanks and attack helicopters – all by 2024.

Indonesian defence spending is increasing but remains modest – US$7.74 billion in 2012 or just 0.86 per cent of gross domestic product.

Plans to lift defence spending to 1.5 per cent of GDP by 2014 won’t be realised.

Dr Schreer said bold declarations were made about procurement plans regardless of available funding, while equipment was acquired without the ability to keep it in service.

“Consequently for the forseeable future TNI will remain an imbalanced, mostly non-deployable force,” he said.

Dr Schreer said Indonesia’s air force plans were of particular interest, given Australia’s strategic goal of maintaining RAAF superiority over regional air forces.

Over the next 20 years, Indonesia will incrementally improve capacity to patrol its airspace and provide transport within the archipelago.

“Yet, it’s highly unlikely that the TNI-AU (air force) will pose any significant operational challenge for a state-of-the-art air force such as the RAAF any time soon,” he said.

Source: ninemsn.com

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Breakthrough imminent in Indonesia: O’Neill’s plan to defuse standoff over West Papua

By Rowan Callick === A breakthrough may be on the way for one of the most intractable conflicts in the Asia-Pacific region. Relations between Indonesia and the Melanesian nations, led by Papua New Guinea, have remained awkward ever since the Dutch withdrew from “Netherlands New Guinea,” and the Pacific islands became independent states.

The plight of “West Papua” as it is often called, has prevented Indonesia, the biggest and closest country in South-East Asia, from building the links that might otherwise have been expected, with the island countries to its east—even since it became a liberal democracy 15 years ago.

But, the PNG government, led by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, has recently launched an initiative aimed at defusing the stand-off over West Papua, building the economy of the centre of New Guinea island, and gaining diplomatic spin-offs.

The western half of New Guinea island comprises two Indonesian provinces: Papua, whose capital is Jayapura, and West Papua, whose capital is Manokwari. It has a 750-km mostly mountainous and often in the past fraught and dangerous border with PNG.

In 2001, the area now covered by the two provinces was declared autonomous with 80 percent of its tax receipts to be retained for local use. But this process has remained only partially complete compared with the more successful governance situation in Aceh, at the other end of the Indonesian archipelago.

O’Neill, who led a delegation to Jakarta for talks with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, said: “West Papua has been a sticky issue for PNG and the western Pacific for quite some time. Our role is to open up discussions.

Genuine desire
“We feel the government of Indonesia has a genuine desire to ensure issues relating to West Papua are managed in a mutually beneficial manner. For the first time in our bilateral discussions, we were able to discuss this openly with the Indonesian government,” said PM O’Neill.

He said he is convinced that Yudhoyono now wishes to withdraw military presence from West Papua, and allow for more autonomy through economic empowerment of the people.

“We feel this is a good opening for us to engage with the Indonesian government so we can participate in the improvement of the lives of Melanesian people there and of our own people along the border. Our officials are now engaged meaningfully in establishing the cooperation we agreed,” he said.

PNG’s Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato elaborated on the deal that was informally struck: “The Indonesian president will adopt a softer approach to West Papuan issues, allowing them greater autonomy.”

As an indicator of this, official representatives will participate in the Melanesian Festival of Arts and Culture to be hosted by PNG next year.

He said Indonesia would allow Papua New Guinea communities near the border to draw on its excess hydro power capacity with state-owned enterprise PNG Power buying electricity for its grid from Indonesia, and that the two countries would jointly explore for oil and gas in highly prospective targets that straddle the border.

Indonesia, Pato said, would fund an ambitious paved highway from Merauke on its side of the border in the south, to PNG’s Wewak on the northern coast.

The countries’ leaders signed a total of 11 MOUs during O’Neill’s visit, after which Pato and his Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa began to chart an implementation course.

Extradition treaty
They agreed on an extradition treaty—which may ensure that Indonesian businessman fugitive Joko Chandra—wanted for corruption and who obtained PNG citizenship under a process that is being challenged legally—returns to face charges.

Another agreement under final negotiation, will permit planes to fly from Nadi, Fiji, through Honiara in Solomon Islands, then Port Moresby, and on to Bali.

One goal of the warming of relations, Pato said, was to prevent any resurgence of asylum-seekers from the Indonesian side of the border. About 8,000 refugees remain in PNG, living in camps in Western province run by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees following earlier conflicts, many of them seeking refuge more than 25 years ago.

The discussions between PNG and Indonesia have led to the latter inviting the foreign ministers of the four Melanesian states — Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji, as well as PNG, who form the “Melanesian Spearhead Group” (MSG) — to visit its Papua and West Papua provinces.

O’Neill flew for talks with Yudhoyono instead of attending an MSG leaders’ meeting held at the same time in New Caledonia.

While PNG is helping to usher its fellow Melanesians in towards better relations with Indonesia, Indonesia in return is backing Port Moresby’s membership of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

ASEAN has 10 members at present — and PNG feels it is entitled to join it because it has such a long land border with the group’s largest state.

Indonesia is also backing PNG’s bid to host the 2018 summit of the APEC forum — which would bring the American and Russian presidents, among other leaders, to Port Moresby — which will be decided at the next summit in Bali in October.

“It’s important for us to have such a relationship with Indonesia,” said Pato — who points out that in previous years, tensions not only unresolved but not even fully discussed about West Papua had prevented the full development of positive, mutually beneficial arrangements between the countries.

Now a joint committee of ministers from the countries has been formed to tackle the details and ensure the MOUs are implemented, he said — starting with the joint economic projects.

Source: Islands Business

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Britain reaffirms recognition of Papua as part of Indonesia

Britain still recognizes Papua as an integral part Indonesia, a British diplomat said.

“We are here this time on a working visit to the Cendrawasih Regional Military Command,” Millie Mc Devitt, Second Secretary in Political Section of the British Embassy, said in a news release issued here on Wednesday (17/07).

McDevitt and a group of other officials of the British embassy in Jakarta met with the regional military commander Maj. Gen. Christian Zebua and other regional military officials in this provincial city.

Zebua told the group that security situation in Papua is favorable, saying in general the situation is stable.

“There is a small group (of local people) having different perception of independence, but we do not see them as enemies. They are compatriots who happen to have different view of democracy,” he said.

He acknowledged that stability in the region is attributable not only to the military or police but also to big role played by religious and community leaders and other government officials.

The military in carrying out it duty in the field gives priority to territorial development, he said.

“Currently we are cooperating with all components to create a conducive security,” he added.

The regional military command is involved in various social activities such as in health care, teaching, farming,livestock raising and fishery to improve the welfare of the people, he said.

“Papua is currently is developing civil order with the military assisting the regional administration and police to accelerate regional development and to maintain public order,” he said.

Indonesia had been angered by a British official attending a ceremony opening a Papua separatist representative office in that country recently.

Source: ANTARA News

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OPM Admits Shooting TNI Member in Papua

The Supreme Commander of the West Papua National Liberation Army (WPNLA), Gen. Goliath Tabuni, claimed he was responsible for the shooting in the Papuan district of Illu on Tuesday, June 25. Two people were killed in the shooting, a TNI infantry lieutenant named I Wayan Sukarta and a civilian named Tomo.

“The shooting was done my members under my command,” Tabuni said as reported by the West Papua National Liberation Army media, Thursday, June 27.

In the report, Tabuni also said that the civilian they killed–reported by local media as a taxi driver–was actually a military intelligence of the TNI 753.

Tabuni further said that the Liberation Army is ready to fight against the military. He also asked Indonesia’s security officers–the TNI and the police, not to use civilians as the targets of their emotional outlet.

“If want to pursuit my members, just look for me and my members only,” he said.

Papua Police spokesman, Comm. I Gede Sumerta Jaya, said the motive of the shooting was to disrupt the distribution of basic goods to Illu District.

Sumerta asserted that the police will do something about what happened and will form a special team to investigate the shooting. “It was a criminal act and the offenders will be pursued,” he firmly stated.

Source: Tempo.co

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OPM commander surrenders to Indonesian police

OPM Commander Isak Kalaibin

OPM Commander Isak Kalaibin and his gang

A commander of Free Papua Organization (OPM) Isak Kalaibin of Sorong, on May 8, 2013 surrendered to Indonesian police after his gang had ambushed security officers in Aimas village.

“Kalaibin went to a police office to surrender and was accompanied by several local religious leaders,” said Deputy Chief of the Papua Provincial Police Brigadier General Paulus Waterpauw.

Several armed members of Kalaibin’s gang had attacked a joint security team in Aimas village, where it had been reported that separatist OPM`s star flag had been hoisted.

When entering the village, the security officers and Kalaibin’s armed members were involved in a clash that killed three members of Kalaibin.

“Kalaibin is now being detained in Aimas Resort Police Office of Sorong District, and being interrogated intensively,” Waterpauw said.

The join security team consisting of the Indonesia Military (TNI) and Police officers were attacked by the armed group when they entered Aimas.

Armed men attacked the officers, damaged their vehicles and injured a military officer`s head.

The security officers responded by shooting at them. Two separatists were killed and several others were injured in the incident.

An injured separatist identified as Salomina Kalaibin was later dead in Sele Be Solo Regional Public Hospital in Aimas village. Salomina Kalaibin was a member of Isak Kalaibin`s group.

Source: ANTARA News

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OPM attacks security officers in Papua

Joint security officers of Indonesian Military (TNI) and National Police, who were patrolling Aimasa area in Sorong District, West Papua, were attacked by an armed group of Free Papua Organization (OPM) at 2 am on Wednesday (01/05).

One of TNI personnel, identified as Second Sub-Lieutenant Sultony was injured in the ambush.

The joint security officers monitored the area after they got information that Isak Kalaibin would lead several people in the area to hoist the “Bintang Kejora” flag of the banned OPM.

The OPM ambushed vehicles of security personnel by using sharp weapons when the troupe approaching the area.

The assault also caused car window of Deputy Chief of Aimas Resort Police Commissioner Pinem`s vehicle shattered.

The ambush forced several personnel to conduct protection shoots and quickly left the scene.

Public Relation Chief of Papuan Police Senior Commissioner Gede Sumerta said the forced shoot of the join security officers caused one armed person, initialed SK, experienced wounds in left thigh, stomach and left arm.

“However we cannot ensure does the victim`s wounds were caused by military personnel`s shooting or not,” Sumerta said.

Police secured several evidences related to the ambush, include a unit of arrows and arc, two slingshots and a bayonet as well as cleaver.

Source: ANTARA News

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Police identifies civilian helicopter shooters in Papua

Police chief of Papua province, Ins.Gen. Tito Karnavian said the police had identified the perpetrators behind the civilian helicopter shootings on Tuesday (26/03) in Puncak Senyum, Papua. He said they were likely the armed civilian group of Free Papua Organization (OPM) which is led by Purom Okiman Wenda.

“According to a preliminary investigation, it is strongly believed that the shooters were the armed group of OPM. The area has been identified as the group’s playground for quite a while now,” Tito, former police counterterrorism special detachment commander, said on Wednesday (27.03).

He added that there had been growing suspicion that the shootings were also part of the group’s strategy to put blame on the police and the military due to the existence of a joint command post near the scene.

“They want the civilians to think that it was either the police or the military behind the shootings,” he said.

Separately, Cendrawasih Military Command Commander Maj. Gen. Christiant Zebua said he regretted the shootings, saying that whoever had masterminded the attack was heartless and irrational.

“Let alone the fact that the helicopter was transporting two Christian missionaries who carry out humanitarian missions in the region. This just makes the shootings look even worse,” he said.

An early report stated that a helicopter owned by the Helivida Foundation, en route to Wamena with two Christian missionary passengers, was shot at by OPM in Puncak Senyum on Tuesday. No victims were reported but there were two bullet holes found on a window near the cockpit.

Source: the Jakarta Post

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