KontraS Coordinator, Fatia Maulidiyanti, said the culture of violence is still alive in the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI). KontraS noted that there were at least 61 violent incidents involving members of the TNI during October 2021 to September 2022. This number increased from last year’s 54 incidents of violence perpetrated by members of the TNI.
“There are many cases of torture or violence carried out by the military, especially in Papua. Where Papua is still a conflict area occupied by the military and the numbers are increasing,” Fatia explained online, Tuesday (4/10/2022). He said this was related to the 77th Anniversary of the TNI today, Wednesday (5/10).
KontraS noted that the violence perpetrated by TNI members was dominated by acts of persecution (32 cases), followed by intimidation (nine cases), and land occupation (seven cases). These violent incidents mostly targeted civilians, but there were also other officers such as the Civil Service Police and members of the police. The violence in the past year has resulted in 24 people being killed and 59 injured.
In addition to violence, Fatia also highlighted active or retired military members who are trying to occupy strategic positions in politics. For example, placing the TNI in ministry positions to acting regional heads.
“For example, in Aceh, that person (TNI official) becomes the acting regional head after one day resigning,” he added.
Fatia also criticized policies that made civilians military in character. This can be seen with the activation of the reserve component based on the National Resource Management Act and the Student Regiment (Menwa) as a defense component. This policy is feared to further exacerbate horizontal conflicts in the community.
VOA has contacted the Head of the TNI Information Center, First Admiral (Laksma) Kisdiyanto about the criticism from KontraS. However, there has been no response until this news was revealed.
President Joko Widodo also did not mention the issue of violence during a ceremony to commemorate the 77th Anniversary of the TNI which was held at the Merdeka Palace Courtyard, Jakarta, on Wednesday (5/10). However, President Jokowi asked the TNI to continue to improve professionalism and in accordance with the Indonesian constitution.
“Be at the forefront in facing every threat, every challenge, every obstacle, and disturbance. Act and act professionally in accordance with Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution, Sapta Marga, and the Soldier’s Oath. Maintain the unity of the TNI with the people because together with the people the TNI will be strong ,” said Jokowi, Wednesday (5/10/2022). [sm/ah]