Archive for the ‘Military in Papua’ Tag

An Inquiry and Action Needed After Mutiny

indonesian-military-reformCopyright: Jakarta Globe

A real voice of Indonesian military personnel, they are just human who care with other human being regardless different ethnicity.

Jakarta Globe April 29, 2009

Editorial

Nothing is quite so unsettling as news of a military mutiny. Reports on Wednesday that a battalion of soldiers took over a commander’s office, fired guns into the air and terrorized residents near Jayapura, the capital of Papua, brought back terrible memories. Just over a decade ago, after former President Suharto stepped down from office amid rioting and economic collapse in May 1998, Jakarta was plagued by rumors of military unrest and potential mutinies. Investors pulled out, many people fled the country and ordinary citizens were terrified. The picture of instability those days painted of our society battered economic growth and harmed Indonesia’s image for years.

Fortunately, since that time the Indonesian military has undergone a dramatic transformation. It has pulled out of politics, lessened its involvement in the economy and begun transforming itself into a professional fighting force.

That is why news of the mutiny in restive Papua is so disturbing. Several hundred soldiers from a battalion in Jayapura went berserk, firing off guns and smashing Army property. Witnesses said the soldiers blockaded their base, searched journalists and seized a photographer’s camera. Journalists on the scene said they had to hide from rampaging soldiers and feared for their lives. Residents were bullied and commander s briefly lost control of the situation. Police said they were unable to intervene because it was an Army matter. Continue reading