Vice President Convenes Meeting with Ministers, Discuss Papuan Security

JAKARTA – Vice President Ma’ruf Amin convened a Coordination Meeting attended by a number of Ministers and Agency Heads at the Vice-Presidential Palace on Wednesday (26/4/2023).

In attendance were Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD, Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi, Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko, Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani, Minister of Home Affairs Tito Karnavian, Minister of Defence Prabowo Subianto, Governor of the National Resilience Institute (Lemhannas) Andi Widjajanto, Commander of the Indonesian Armed Forces Admiral Yudo Margono, and National Chief of Police General Listyo Sigit Prabowo.

According to the VPs Spokesman Masduki Baidlowi, this was the first coordination meeting held after the long holiday and specifically discussed Papua, as the VP is responsible for issues related to the region.

“As we know that Papua has been developed into 6 New Autonomous Regions, there are 6 new provinces now and it is hoped that the development of Papua, especially related to equitable development, will soon be realised. That is one of the main points of discussion that took a lot of time,” Masduki said in Jakarta, Wednesday.

Masduki continued that regarding the pattern of handling Papua’s security, it has not been discussed because there will still be a follow-up meeting and there are no talks related to it to be discussed further. Those two things are actually in the outline discussed by the Vice President and a number of ministers.

“We have invited the Minister of Finance because this is also related to a large enough budget related to building infrastructure and so on, and also related to the planned visit of the Vice President in June, it is hoped that there will be, not only planning but also the implementation of a fairly significant implementation related to equitable development of Papua,” he said.

Regarding patterns of handling Papua’s security problems, Masduki said, in Papua there are certain areas, namely Central Papua and Mountains which are still problematic in terms of security. So that it is discussed specifically and the details that will be formulated by the team from this coordination meeting. However, there was no technical discussion regarding the release of hostages of the Papua Armed Criminal Group (KKB) at the meeting.

“It cannot be discussed because it has been agreed that there will be no discussion related to technical details regarding the security patterns of Papua including issues related to the pilot but it is being handled and God willing, it will be handled well,” he explained.

According to Masduki, the Vice President did emphasise that no more TNI soldiers and civilians would become victims, but that was only a small part of what was discussed. Moreover, technical matters were also not discussed in the coordination meeting, more on effective handling patterns, especially on coordination, and improving things that are already good.

“But more on the larger scale of what the government must face so that the handling, the patterns of handling Papua are effective, especially those related to coordination. Because so far it has been going well, it must be improved continuously,” said Masduki.

Regarding the handling in Papua, he said, the TNI Commander has explained to the troops on combat alert so that they are expected to be fully alert. However, the soft approach also continues to be carried out.

“I don’t think the soft approach is eliminated, which is continuing including welfare. The term is bolstering what has been done so far,” he said.

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