The Jakarta Post
Over 150 members of the separatist group Free Papua Movement (OPM) have agreed to end their resistance and conveyed their pledge of allegiance to the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, said a statement released by the Indonesian Army (TNI AD) on Friday.
TNI AD spokesperson Col. Alfret Denny Tuejeh attributed the surrender of the separatist group members to the successful approach of Sinak district military commander (Danramil) First Lt. Yusuf Rumi, who promised their safe return, among other things.
“It took a long process before all of the members decided to leave the OPM. They agreed to leave their group after he [Yusuf] guaranteed their safety,” Denny told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.
Utaringen Telenggen, one of the 154 OPM members who laid down their arms, said as cited in the release that they agreed to return as they had become aware that they got no benefit from being a member of an armed separatist group.
The ex-OPM members also requested Puncak Jaya regent Willem Wandik to give them each a Honai, or traditional Papuan house, for their place of living. Both TNI and local administration officials agreed to fulfill their demand.
Utaringgen and his compatriots conveyed their pledge of allegiance to the NKRI in a ceremony on Monday, during which they were handed over Indonesia’s Red-and-White flag in front the Jayapura regent, police and military officials and local residents.
The 154 OPM members came from Kampung Weni and Kampung Rumagi in Mageabume, Puncak Jaya. (dis/mrc/ebf)