In Response to the Designation of the KKB of Papua as Terrorist: The Designation Will Worsen the Human Rights and Security Situation in Papua

Imparsial Live Press

In response to the development of the security situation in Papua after the death of the Papuan Chief, Brigadier General I Gusti Putu Danny in a shootout with the Armed Criminal Group (KKB), the government designated the group as a terrorist. The Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, stated that "the government considers that organizations and people in Papua that commit massive violence are categorized as terrorists". 

Imparsial views that the determination and labeling of the KKB as terrorist will have bad implications for the human rights situation and hinder efforts to peacefully resolve the Papuan conflict. This step will only strengthen further the stigma that hurts the feelings of the Papuans as well as show the stuttering and impasse of the government's ideas in conflict resolution efforts. Instead of stopping violence as requested and needed by the Papuans, the government continues to look for shortcuts by legitimizing the violence that has been carried out so far. In fact, the determination of the KKB as a terrorist organization will lead to an escalation of violence that leads to instability in security conditions and rampant human rights violations in Papua, as well as complicating peaceful conflict resolution.

Moreover, the determination of KKB as a terrorist does not touch the main problem that has been happening in Papua. This determination will only further legitimize the militaristic security approach to the Papuan conflict. Various studies have stated that the Papua issue is not merely a security issue, and therefore requires a comprehensive approach.

Based on research by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), there are at least 4 sources of conflict in Papua, namely: (a) history of integration, political status and integrity; (b) political violence and human rights violations; (c) development failure; (d) the marginalization of Papuans and the inconsistency of the special autonomy policy. Without being accompanied by comprehensive efforts to resolve the four sources of conflict, efforts to resolve the Papua conflict will not be complete and the current socio-political turmoil has the potential to continue to repeat itself in the future.

In addition, the determination of KKB as a terrorist is contrary to applicable law. The inclusion of an organization as a terrorist organization can be done after obtaining a determination by the court as regulated by Article 12A paragraph (2) of Law no. 5 of 2018 concerning Terrorism and Article 27 of Law No. 9 of 2013 concerning the Prevention and Eradication of Terrorism Financing Crimes. This means that the determination of an organization as a terrorist must be carried out through a legal mechanism, not a political mechanism.

Imparsial believes that it is time for the Papua conflict resolution policy not to be top-down, but must come from a common consensus. 

The government must also take an inclusive and comprehensive approach, particularly through peaceful and dignified dialogue methods in resolving the Papuan issue. Not using a militaristic security approach. The use of an excessive and coercive approach will only lengthen the list of human rights violations.

The government must also take an inclusive and comprehensive approach, particularly through peaceful and dignified dialogue methods in resolving the Papuan issue. Not using a militaristic security approach. The use of an excessive and coercive approach will only lengthen the list of human rights violations.  

Imparsial urges that the government should revoke the designation of KKB as a terrorist because it will exacerbate the cycle of violence as one of the main problems of the poor human rights and humanitarian situation in Papua. Another important step is that the President immediately realizes his real commitment to resolving the Papuan issue through dialogue. The President's political leadership is needed to encourage mutual trust and appear to lead the resolution of the Papua conflict in a peaceful and dignified manner.

Jakarta, April 30th, 2021

Imparsial (The Indonesian Human Rights Monitor)

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Gufron Mabruri (Direktur IMPARSIAL) +62 812-1334-0612

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Hussein Ahmad (Peneliti IMPARSIAL) 081259668926

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