Exclusive-Indonesia's Troop Surge in Papua Aims to 'Wipe Out' Armed Rebels: Police Intel Chief | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Exclusive-Indonesia's Troop Surge in Papua Aims to 'Wipe Out' Armed Rebels: Police Intel Chief

A new security crackdown on armed separatists in the central highlands of Indonesia's restive Papua region will be maintained until they are wiped out, the country's police intelligence chief said.

Amid a worsening conflict, some 400 extra troops have been deployed to Papua following the assassination of a senior intelligence official there and the designation of separatists as "terrorists" by the Indonesian government last month.

In an interview with Reuters, Paulus Waterpauw, an indigenous Papuan and head of Indonesian police intelligence, made the strongest remarks yet about the resolve of Indonesian authorities to suppress the decades-long armed separatist rebellion in resource-rich Papua.

"The objective is to wipe out those behind these horrible acts of violence," he said. "This operation will go on until we get the maximum result. As long as they have not been arrested, we will do our utmost to incapacitate them and catch them."

Waterpauw cited the killing of 19 road workers in December 2018, the destruction of schools and health clinics, and attacks on civilians as some of the "brutal recent events" that had prompted the troop surge.

Sebby Sambom, a spokesman for the Free Papua Organisation, the main separatist group in Papua, said there were "reasonable reasons" behind the group's attacks.

"The military and police targeting will not succeed," he added. "Every year there will be new fighters. They will increase, not decrease."

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