Military commander: separatists pose threat during elections

Cenderawasih Pos - The commander of the Cenderawasih/XVII military command, Major-General A.Y. Nasution has called for vigilance against seperatist units operating which possess weapons that were seized from a police command post, who could pose a threat in the run-up to the general elections. Although the separists were weak, he said, they needed watching, especially in view of the fact that the seized weapons had not been found.

'We must be concerned because of the weapons they have which could pose a threat during the elections,' he said.

Intelligence operations were underway and troops were undertaking check-ups in regions to determine where special attention was needed. He said that on the basis of intelligence analysis, there was nothing to be feared, while admitting that they (the separatists) represented a danger to security.

Troops in disturbed regions have been told that the separatists are likely to take advantage of our laxity.

He said that there had been a mobilisation of (our) citizens in PNG to bring them across the border at the time of the elections and therefore the military were intensifying their patrols along the border (with PNG). However bearing in mind the length of the border, it was not possible to maintain a watch along the whole length of the border. 'There are still gaps which cannot be guarded, but at the very least, we need to be informed of the situation and further raise our vigilance,' he said.

Translation by Tapol