Jumat, Februari 20

"Plan to build regional military command in West Papua"

military of the indonesian republic
President Joko Widodo reportedly agreed to a proposal to expand the army’s territorial command in West Papua. The army proposed two more territorial commands (Kodam) in eastern Indonesia. One is in Manado and the other is in Manokwari, the capital city of Papua Barat province. The navy will also expand its command by adding an Armada Command (Komando Armada Tengah) in Makassar. TNI also proposed to revive Komando Gabungan Pertahanan (Joint Defense Command) which is similar to Komando Wilayah Pertahanan (defense territorial command) or Kowilhan. The Kowilhan was established in 1969, and then eradicated in 1984 during the reorganization of the Indonesian military. The TNI chief, Gen. Moeldoko, said that he also plans to revive the position of territorial assistant for the navy and air force.

President Joko Widodo is the fourth civilian president of the reformation era. Three of his civilian predecessors have never served full term in the office. All of those civilian presidents had to deal with the military and in fact it became their biggest challenge. President Widodo too has to confront the same problem. The three presidents were approaching the military differently. President Habibie chose to defy the military completely when he decided to grant referendum to East Timor. President Abdurrahman Wahid chose a more confrontational approach. He often intervened in the military’s internal affairs. President Megawati Sukarnoputri took a very different approach. She gave a ‘blank check’ to the military. She appointed the ultra-nationalist officer Gen. Ryamizard Ryacudu as the army chief of staff. Under her administration, the military was given permission to launch huge operations in Aceh in order to crush the rebellion. Many of Megawati’s military men are now parts of the Jokowi’s administration.

With the hardliners dominate his administration, we can expect that Jokowi will apply a more nationalistic approach in confronting the West Papua problem. Meanwhile, President Widodo promised "to solve" West Papua's problems in his campaign. He won the region handily during the election. However, will he make good of his promises? How will he handle the security forces in West Papua? Can he change the security situation in the region and give Papuans the human rights protection that they deserve?

This article shows the networks of Indonesia's security forces in West Papua. It will be hard for President Widodo to keep his promises to the people of West Papua and at the same time accommodate security interests (and the other interests that come with it) of the military and police. As we shall see, Indonesian security forces in West Papua have grown every year. Meanwhile, security problems in the region are not declining.***Black-FoX

Resource : On-line Media and ETAN