Jumat , 17 November 2017, 14:43 WIB

TNI chief signals readiness to rescue hostage in Tembagapura

Red: Reiny Dwinanda
Republika/Yasin Habibi
TNI Chief General Gatot Nurmantyo
TNI Chief General Gatot Nurmantyo

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- National Defense Forces (TNI) Chief General Gatot Nurmantyo has warned the armed criminal group in Papua province on a time limit to negotiate with security agencies on the release of some 1,300 villagers held as hostages.

"TNI and Polri (Indonesian Police) are still awaiting (the results of) their negotiations with the armed group to release thousands of residents of Banti and Kimbely villages in Tembagapura, Mimika," he stated, after addressing a national working meeting of the National Democratic (Nasdem) Party here, on Thursday.

Although no date has been set, the time limit signaled that TNI is ready to launch hostage rescue operations.

"Right now, we are still conducting negotiations. Negotiations have a time limit," he added.

He noted that Polri and TNI personnel, assigned to free the hostages from the armed criminal group, have been prepared for any eventualities.

"In this regard, TNI and Polri have been prepared for any possibilities. What is clear is that the state must be present to protect its citizens anywhere," he remarked.

The TNI will also be present to protect all Indonesian citizens from threats, including those from the armed criminal group in Papua, he reiterated.

"The TNI will be present at all costs. If they are not willing to negotiate and instead, challenge us, the story will be different," he warned.

Some 200 TNI and Polri personnel have been deployed to deal with the armed criminal group.

The number of security personnel was adequate to tackle the criminal group in Tembagapura, Senior Commissioner A. M. Kamal, spokesman of the Papua Provincial Office, stated on Thursday.

Security personnel have been applying persuasive approaches and holding dialogs with the armed group to minimize the victim count on both sides, as well as to release the hostages.

Of the 1,300 people, some 300 to 500 people are traditional miners and vendors of basic goods.

Sumber : Antara

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