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Jakarta Post

Military to back up police to secure Nov. 4 demonstration

  • Margareth S. Aritonang

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, November 1, 2016   /  04:17 pm
Military to back up police to secure Nov. 4 demonstration Thousands of anti-Ahok Muslims participate in a protest on Jl. Merdeka Timur in Jakarta on Oct. 14. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

The Indonesian Military (TNI) has repeated that it will fully support the police to secure the planned massive demonstration on Nov. 4 against incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, said TNI spokesman Brig. Gen. Wuryanto on Tuesday.

Previously, the TNI said it would deploy about 5,000 personnel, including members of the Army Strategic Reserves Command (Kostrad) and Air Force Special Forces (Paskas), to back up the police.

Meanwhile, National Police spokesperson Insp. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar told the press on Tuesday that his institution had prepared 18,000 officers to maintain security in Jakarta during the protest organized by the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) and other groups.

"It is to respond to the very recent development regarding the planned protest. Some officers have already been put on standby at several vulnerable posts," Boy added, but he declined to elaborate.

Wuryanto said, without explaining further, that the military has identified efforts to use radical groups to divide the country. “We don't want this country [to experience] another Arab Spring," he said at the military headquarters, referring to anti-authoritarian protests and uprisings that spread across the Middle East several years ago, but without elaborating on the connection beyond drawing parallels to how the democratic uprisings began.

“What we are witnessing these days adopted patterns that occurred in the Middle East," he said.

Wuryanto also hinted that he believed foreigners were somehow involved, but he did not say who or how. (bbn)

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