Guilty soldiers to face sanctions: Military chief

Erwida Maulia | Thu, 04/30/2009 3:53 PM | National

Indonesian Military chief Gen. Djoko Santoso said here Thursday sanctions would be surely imposed on those found guilty causing soldiers riot in Sentani army base in Jayapura.

He said Army chief of staff Gen. Agustadi Sasongko was currently in Jayapura to examine the incident and question soldiers involved in the riot, and would bring those found guilty into legal process and even military court.

“The Army chief of staff is there now. The situation has been under control. I regret the incident and ask for an apology to Sentani residents and to friends from the media, who must have been annoyed with the incident.

“We are waiting for a report from the Army chief of staff, and will impose fair sanctions (on those found guilty),” Djoko told reporters after reporting the incident to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the Presidential Palace.

The President has ordered him to immediately settle the problem.

The Jayapura army base erupted violently on Wednesday as Battalion 751 Sentani soldiers’ protest over what they said an embezzlement of their money turned into a riot. The riot began during celebrations of West Papua’s integration into Indonesia.

The soldiers demanded that the battalion’s commander, Lieutenant Colonel Labok Sihotang, be held responsible for his actions. They questioned his decision requiring them to provide funds for the burial of their fellow soldier, Private Joko, in his hometown in Nabire, Papua. This should have been paid by the army, they said.

Djoko, however, seemingly defended the commander’s action, saying sending the remains of dead soldier to Nabire would require chartering a plane and thus about Rp 90 million (approximately US$8,200) of funds .

“The battalion cannot bear the costs, so it was decided that it bears half and the other half is shared (among the soldiers). The battalion doesn’t have the (financial) capacity,” he said.

Djoko added the military would intensify disciplining and counseling measures among soldiers to prevent such anarchy acts from happening in the future.

1 comment so far

  1. dasiith on

    I like your blog. cheers

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