10 Jun 2009

Indonesia increases security readiness in Papua for election

10:59 am on 10 June 2009

Indonesia's government is sending more paramilitary police to Papua region ahead of the July 8 presidential election, deploying three platoons of the elite Mobile Brigade, or Brimob.

The Minister for Political, Legal and Security, Affairs Widodo, announced the deployment of the two platoons from Jakarta and one from South Sulawesi as he arrived in Papua province on Monday.

The Jakarta Post reports that Mr Widodo is in the province with other government officials, the heads of Indonesia's Military and National police, and officials from the various security agencies to gauge Papua's readiness to hold the election.

In April, extra Brimob platoons were sent to Papua to address a wave of violence across Papua around Indonesian elections.

Security in Papua has deteriorated since the legislative polls, with a 13 reported deaths in attacks across Papua in April alone.

At the weekend at least three people were killed when anti-terror police stormed an isolated airstrip in Papua's Kasepo sub-district which was occupied for about two weeks by a group of Papuan gunmen.