Military commander denies current military operations in Papua and rejects legitimacy of the IIIrd KRP

JUBI, 23 March 2012The commander of the district military command in Jayapura denied that any military operations are taking place in Papua. Lieut-Colonel Rano Tilaar was speaking to journalists after taking part in a Joint Forum of the SKPD (?) and the start of a Consultation on Development in Jayapura.

‘There are no military operations under way in Papua, but only Security Operations Along the Border. We have to realise that although the situation in general is calm and orderly, there are conflicts going on, vertical conflicts as well as a horizontal conflicts,’ he said.

The vertical conflict is related to various problems between the government and those wanting independence – or separatism – while horizontal conflicts are those that occur between groups within the community where there are differences between the native population and the newcomers.

‘We need to be conscious of what is meant by nation and state. What is the meaning of the legacy inherited from our ancestors and the natural resources which offer great potential if they are not exploited jointly in the interests of the nation and the state.’

According to Rano, in the present political situation in Papua, the TNI – Indonesian Army – regards the group which pursues the ideology of  M – merdeka – as our brothers. The difference between us, he said, is they have not yet accepted the ideology of NKRI – the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.

When asked his opinion about the  the Third Papuan Peace Congress [held last October], he said that this meeting was not representative of the Papuan people because according to information he has received from local customary leaders and religious leaders, there was no legitimacy for the creation of a state and the appointment of the president and the prime minister of that state, because others felt that they had not been consulted  and they were not willing to legitimise the congress as being representative of the Papuan people.

‘It only represented a group of people and it was correct to apply the charge of makar – treason – from the point of view of the law because that was a treasonous act.’

(This article unfortunately does not report the contradictions in this story, and fails to mention the fact that significant sweeps against civilians are ongoing throughout the Highlands in Tingginambut and Mulia – against Free Papua guerillas led by Goliat Tabuni – as well as major operations across the entire border region, including allegations of village clearances.  West Papua Media)

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