Indonesian president orders military, police to arrest Papua killing suspects

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-05 22:41:00|Editor: yan
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JAKARTA, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Wednesday ordered the military and police to arrest those responsible for the recent killing of construction workers and a troop in Papua province.

Widodo reiterated the trans-Papua project would continue despite deadly challenges from insurgents.

Speaking to the reporters, the president said he had ordered the chiefs of the military and the national police to chase and arrest all the perpetrators of these barbaric and inhumane acts.

He said the government was not deterred with the killings, and there was no single reason to stop the construction of the infrastructure project in Papua.

"The road construction linking Wamena and Mamugu must be completed to assure development and accomplishment of social justice in Papua," said the president, referring to the road that witnessed the killing of construction workers.

Located in extremely high ground, the 278-kilometer road is part of the government-initiated trans-Papua project which is prone to security threats from insurgents.

The 4,325-kilometer trans-Papua road project that spans from Papua northern city of Sorong to easternmost city of Merauke is planned to be completed next year.

On the same occasion, Indonesia Police Chief General Tito Karnavian said 20 people, including 19 workers and one soldier, had been killed by a Papua insurgent group in Papua province's Nduga regency.

Citing information gathered from around the killing location, Papua police spokesperson said earlier that the number of the fallen workers stood at 31.

Tito said that the Papua military and police were hunting for the perpetrators around the location surrounded by thick jungles.

Reports said some 150 personnel both from the military and police had been assigned to the mission.

Citing the ordeal experienced by survivor Jimmi Aritonang, Papua Province military spokesman Muhammad Aidi said Wednesday that the Papua insurgents forced 25 workers working for Istaka Karya, the contractor that builds the road, out from their camp in the regency's Yigi district on Saturday afternoon.

Around 50 insurgents carrying military rifles forced the workers to climb up Kabo hill the next day with their hands tied up.

"As they cheered with tribal shouting, the insurgents shot their rifles against the workers. Many were killed instantly, while 11 of the workers pretended to be dead and made attempts to escape later on," Aidi said.

Be aware of the escape attempts by the 11 workers, the insurgents chased and captured five of them, who were slayed instantly on the scene, Aidi added.

The remaining six workers managed to run to Mbua district but eventually only four of them were found by the authorities and the remaining two were yet to be located.

The insurgents attacked a military outpost in Mbua district on Monday, killing a soldier and injuring another one.

Indonesian rights group of Kontras condemned the killing of the workers in Papua, saying that there is no justification for violence against and killing of civilians.