Responding to the Establishment of the Special Military Operations Command (Koopsus)

Press Release

Civil Society Coalition for Security Sector Reform

This week, the Indonesian National Army (TNI) inaugurated the establishment of the Special Operations Command (Koopsus). The establishment of this Koopsus was based on the TNI Commander Regulation (Perpang) Number 19/2019 dated July 19, 2019 concerning the Organization and Duties of the TNI Special Operations Command.

The establishment of this Kopsus has repeated the policy in 2015 when the TNI Commander was General Moeldoko. At that time, the TNI Koopssusgab was formed which was a combination of elite troops from three TNI dimensions, namely the Sat-81 Kopassus, Denjaka Marines, and Satbravo-90 Paskhas. However, this policy did not continue.

We are of the opinion that the establishment of the TNI Koopsus cannot be separated from the main function of the TNI as a means of state defense. Therefore, the main task of the division is more focused on dealing with external threats to state sovereignty. Meanwhile, their involvement in dealing with internal threats should only be carried out when law enforcement officers are no longer able to deal with these threats and on the basis of a presidential decree.

For this reason, we view that Koopsus should not carry out the function of counter-terrorism, in this case surveillance and observation. This is considering that the troops involved in Koopsus come from special units which are battling troops. The reconnaissance function can of course be carried out by other institutions working in the surveillance area, such as the state intelligence agency or the strategic intelligence agency owned by the TNI.

In addition, we are of the opinion that the function that will be carried out by Koopsus will become a problem if the substance of the Presidential Regulation concerning the Duties of the TNI in Overcoming Terrorism Actions is inappropriate and not in accordance with the existing legislation.

According to the coalition's records, the draft Presidential Regulation on Military Tasks still has a number of fundamental problems that contradict the Military Bill and the Terrorism Law. In addition to giving broad authority to the TNI, the Presidential Regulation implies the implementation of the War Model pattern in dealing with the threat of terrorism, rather than using the mechanism of the law enforcement system (criminal justice system).

The Presidential Decree draft states that the TNI will also carry out the functions of deterrence, prosecution and recovery. The deterrence function as intended starts from national preparedness, counter radicalization to deradicalization (Article 3). Such deterrence is also carried out with intelligence operations, territorial operations and information (Article 5).

In addition to the term deterrence which is not known in the Terrorism Law, we view that the function of deterrence and recovery is actually carried out by other agencies that do have competence, such as the deterrence function by the State Intelligence Agency or the recovery function which includes carrying out rehabilitation and reconstruction work by the Ministry. Religion, Ministry of Education, BNPT and other institutions.

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Furthermore, this draft Presidential Regulation clearly contradicts the Military Bill by opening up opportunities for the use of regional budgets and other sources outside the APBN that can be used by the TNI in dealing with terrorism as regulated in Article 17. between the President and the DPR as stipulated in Article 17 (2) of the TNI Law, that the deployment of TNI forces must obtain approval from the DPR.

Jakarta, August 1st, 2019

Civil Society Coalition for Security Sector Reform KontraS, Imparsial, Elsam, WALHI, HRWG, AJI Indonesia, PBHI, Setara Institute, INFID, LBH Jakarta, Democracy Institute, ILR, Indonesian Human Protection Foundation, LBH Pers, ICW

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