JAKARTA - The Army Chief of Staff (KSAD) General Andika Perkasa has not denied that many of his soldiers have defected or fled from their units with various motives. However, the Army Chief of Staff denied reports that the soldiers who had defected were local sons or came from Papua.
This was conveyed by the Army Chief of Staff in response to the issue of TNI personnel joining the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) of the Free Papua Organization (OPM).
"I'm open, I'm not lying. Every year there are so many and it is done by soldiers with different backgrounds and ethnicities. We will not conclude that this has a relationship with local sons," said Andika in Jakarta, Tuesday, April 20.
"So actually cases like this did not only happen this time, although not exactly the same," he added.
He explained that there were various motives that became the reason why TNI soldiers later defected. One of them, it could be because they have debt to various other problems.
"There are different motivations, some because they have debts, some because they may feel unsuitable, maybe because of immoral problems, there are so many kinds," he said.
Andika said that the TNI defectors would not just be released. All of them have and will undergo the applicable legal process. In fact, the superior of the soldiers will also be summoned.
"We are also briefing the unit commanders and this includes an assessment. This is what we are doing. We do not only see individuals who commit criminal acts, but what about their leadership or leadership," said Andika.
Previously reported, the joining of a TNI member who served at Bulapa Post to the OPM, was conveyed by OPM Spokesman Sebby Sambom. He claimed that the decision made by TNI members was because they could not stand the attitude of the TNI which often shot Papuan civilians.
"(Joined, red) since February 2021. Because he saw that TNI members like to shoot civilians, including priests," Sebby explained.
Sebby said, after joining, these armed forces officers immediately became OPM soldiers. The reason is that he has been trained because he had joined the TNI.
"Because he's trained," he said.
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