Papua situation is normal, only 111 illegal arms trade: Mahfud MD

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD - Doc. jubi

Jubi TV – Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD said that those who considered the Papuan situation alarming were wrong because there were only 111 illegal weapons circulating in the easternmost province.

“Meanwhile, the circulation of illegal firearms in areas such as Kalimantan, Maluku, Aceh, and Jakarta can reach thousands,” Mahfud said, as quoted by CNN Indonesia, on Monday, April 4, 2022.

According to him, the situation in Kalimantan, Maluku, Aceh, and Jakarta was more urgent than in Papua.

“We often consider incidents like this with special attention because it is in Papua. Because there is the color of the Free Papua Organization (OPM) movement. In fact, the crimes that occurred there also occurred in Java and other places outside Papua,” Mahfud added.

The government, Mahfud claimed, was now using a welfare approach to deal with problems in Papua. “Not a military approach. Combat is still needed when something goes out of bounds and has met certain circumstances but as long as everything’s fine, it’s the normal security situation in Papua,” he said.

The Minister considers the situation in Papua normal. According to him, armed groups only operate in the central region of Papua with a narrow area coverage.

While in reality, in recent days, a number of Indonesian Military soldiers have been killed in the shootings with the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB). On March 26, the TPNPB attacked the military post of the Mupe Battalion Infantry-33 in Nduga Regency, killing two marines. TPNPB was said to use a grenade-throwing weapon. (*)

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