The Jakarta Post
Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian, who is known for his extensive experience in counter-terrorism, has been promoted to general planning and development assistant at the National Police, replacing Insp. Gen. Sulistyo Ishak who will retire.
According to a confidential telegram dated July 14, Tito's post in the Papua Police will be filled by Brig. Gen. Yotje Mende, who currently serves as the head of the National Police's Staff and Senior Officials Academy (Sespimti).
National Police chief Gen. Sutarman will lead the promotion ceremony of Tito and Yotje on Wednesday, according to police spokesman Insp. Gen. Ronny F. Sompie.
Before taking the helm of Papua Police, Tito led the National Police's Densus 88 counterterrorism squad between 2009 and 2010, during which time he played roles in the operations that led to the deaths of terrorist masterminds Azhari and Noordin M. Top.
During his two years at the head of the Papua Police, Tito investigated a series of shootings that targeted police and civilians, most of which were allegedly carried out by Papuan separatist organization the Free Papua Movement (OPM).
National Police Commission (Kompolnas) member Hamidah Abdurrahman praised Tito's performance despite such attacks persisting in Indonesia's easternmost region. 'He had some accomplishments in Papua, although not all problems have been resolved. We must understand that Papua has complicated issues,' she said in a telephone interview.
On top of the separatism issue, Tito faced the challenge of dividing his attention between two provinces in the region. 'Papua should have been handled by two police forces, as the region is divided into two provinces ' Papua and West Papua. Considering that Tito was able to handle that huge responsibility, I believe that he deserves the promotion,' she said.
Hamidah said the new Papua Police chief must be able to ensure the security and safety of Papua citizens and police officers from the peril of armed separatists and criminals.
The new chief must also apply measures to increase the transparency of his officers in the wake of investigations into Chief Brig. Labora Sitorus, a low-ranking officer stationed at Sorong, West Papua, who ran illegal logging and fuel smuggling businesses worth billions of rupiah.
In May, the Papua High Court sentenced Labora to eight years in prison. 'Tito made some steps to address the Labora case. The new Papua Police chief needs to devise a comprehensive strategy to promote transparency among officers, to ensure that they are not involved in any illegal businesses,' she said.
According Indonesia Police Watch (IPW), Labora gave some of his illicit money to 33 officials in the Papua Police and the National Police. So far, the National Police's crime investigations division, tasked to handle the case, say they have found evidence of the complicity of high-ranking police officials in the case.
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