Armed Rebels Have No Place in Indonesia, Defense Minister Says

Indonesian Defence Minister Ryamizafrd Ryacudu.
Indonesian Defence Minister Ryamizafrd Ryacudu.

Jakarta, 9 Jumadil Akhir 1437/19 March 2016 (MINA) – Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said on Thursday that armed rebels have no place in the country, including those attempting to free Papua from Indonesia, because allowing them to keep existing would only create fear among the people.

“Their existence cannot be tolerated,” he told journalists in response to the separatist movement in Indonesia and the need to promote a state defense program.

Ryamizard said he believed in the involvement of parties in foreign countries in every separatist movement. Therefore, he warned that their unlawful acts would not be tolerated.

For the armed rebels in the Indonesian province of Papua who launch attacks, they would be stopped to avoid the people feeling terrorized. “We have been patient enough and this must be stopped in the best way,” he said.

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Ryamizard also touched on the importance of having a state defense program. In this connection, the Indonesian Defense Ministry has launched a program called “Gebyar Aku Indonesia” (The Sparkle of I am Indonesian) to educate young Indonesians about the necessities of state defense by employing an arts and cultural approach, Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) reported, quoting Antara News.

Among the arts and cultural activities that would be displayed from April through December 2016 in different parts of Indonesia are a musical festival, stand-by comedy, and various games, he said.

The “Gebyar Aku Indonesia” program will be held in such cities as Kota Batu and Surabaya (East Java), Semarang (Central Java), Palembang (South Sumatra), Sorong (Papua), Medan (North Sumatra), Banjarmasin (South Kalimantan), Pontianak (West Kalimantan), Bandung (West Java) and Jakarta (capital city).

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In resolving conflicts in Papua Province, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and the Papua Peace Network (JDP) have recommended a dialogue between the central government and representatives of the Papuan people for the sake of building a peaceful Papua.

The dialogue would give legitimacy to the central government and help resolve the Papua conflict peacefully, LIPI and JPD revealed in a policy brief entitled, “Building Peaceful Papua Together (2015).”   (T/R07/R01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)