Following a spate of shooting incidents over the last few weeks, including one that killed the head the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) in Papua, Brig. Gen. I Gusti Putu Danny, the government has declared the armed rebel group in the territory a terrorist organization. The impact will be overarching in particular on the local people, but the decision is unlikely to bring peace back to the easternmost territory anytime soon as we all desire.
Instead, the government’s move risks escalating violence in Papua as it will justify counterterrorism operations involving both the police and military. The draconian 2018 Terrorism Law allows the police to preempt acts of terrorism and the military to actively participate in countering terrorism in the form of deployment for non-war operations.
Even before the policy shift, which the government claimed to have gone throug...
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