Authorities in Indonesia’s Papua area have detained six military officers and launched an investigation into their alleged involvement within the brutal homicide of 4 civilians final week, army officers say.
Teguh Muji Angkasa, a senior army officer in Papua, advised a televised information briefing the army and police would conduct a joint investigation.
“Now we have been given the order to research the incident,” mentioned Teguh, “and if from the outcomes of the investigation, troopers had been concerned, they are going to be sternly sanctioned.”
Six officers have been named as suspects, Lieutenant Common Chandra W. Sukotjo advised Reuters, after physique elements had been present in a river close to town of Timika. The army is investigating the homicide of 4 victims, he mentioned.
The victims had been seeking to purchase weapons from the army officers on August 22 earlier than the deal went awry, he mentioned.
Media reported the victims’ our bodies had allegedly additionally been mutilated, however Chandra declined to touch upon the allegations.
Indonesia maintains a heavy army presence in Papua, the place small teams of separatist fighters have for many years waged a low-level, however more and more lethal battle for independence. The army has confronted accusations of human rights abuses in Papua, which it has denied, however investigations into such allegations are uncommon.
Sebby Sambom, spokesperson for the West Papua Nationwide Liberation Military (TPNPB), referred to as on the federal government to carry the perpetrators accountable or danger additional violence.
“If Indonesian President Joko Widodo doesn’t instantly take duty, then the TPNPB along with the Papuan folks will take revenge in the identical approach,” Sambom mentioned in a press release on Monday.
Armed battle in Papua has escalated considerably since 2018, with assaults by the TPNPB turning into deadlier and extra frequent, with an more and more excessive variety of casualties on either side, a report by the Jakarta-based Institute for Coverage Evaluation of Battle (IPAC) famous in July.
The elevated frequency of assaults was as a result of TPNPB buying extra weapons by raiding and stealing from a rising variety of military posts, cross-border purchases and the unlawful sale of presidency weapons by rogue officers, IPAC mentioned.