TNI To Mobilize 4,000 Troops Securing Aceh Election


BANDA ACEH, (TAG) – The Iskandar Muda regional command to mobilize some 4,000 Indonesian troops (TNI) to back up the provincial police in securing a long-awaited Aceh local elections scheduled April 9, a military spokesman said.

TNI troops give a salute during a joint security parade in Banda Aceh - SUPARTA PHOTO
To prepare the security and order ahead of the upcoming polls in Indonesia’s Aceh province, thousands policemen and military forces performing a joint parade at Aceh police headquarters Tuesday morning.
The joint security parade led by Aceh police chief Ins. Gen Iskandar Hasan and accompanied by the Iskandar Muda regional military commander Maj. Gen. Adi Mulyono. Some top ranks local military commanders in the province and the districts’ police chief also took part on the joint ceremonial parade.
“To secure the upcoming elections, Iskandar Muda military command would mobilize 4,000 TNI personnels,” Col. Subagio Irianto, a local military spokesman said in a press conference over the weekend.
The army, air and sea forces of Iskandar Muda military command would fully be assigned under Aceh police because the tasks of election’s security handled by police, he said, adding that routine patrol has been doing by the TNI troops and policemen in some areas of the region, located on a northern tip Sumatra island.
However, the military regional’s initiative opposed by Aceh branch of local rights group Commission for the Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) that called Iskandar Muda regional command to repeal it.
“Mobilizing TNI troops (in securing election) violates military law because the role of TNI stated just on country’s defense,” rights group coordinator Destika Gilang Lestari said in a press statement obtained by The Aceh Globe Tuesday.
She criticized the Iskandar Muda regional military commander not to far involve in securing the polls. “Security and order is the task of police, not TNI. We believe that Aceh military commander knows in the TNI regulation saying troops mobilizing should be based on a presidential decree, not based on an agreed decision of TNI commander and police chief meeting in Aceh,” she said.
Kontras urges the Iskandar Muda military command to remain neutrality in local elections, “not just in public statement”. The TNI regulation stated that the professional military troops not involve in politics.
“TNI’s involvement in election’s securing is a political action. Troops are not needed in securing the upcoming local elections whereas Aceh in conducive situation,” Gilang mentioned.
“The Aceh police chief already said the condition of Aceh very conducive, so planned to mobilize the troops would only the burden of state’s budget.”
She also called the Aceh police chief not to let in military in securing the polls because the Indonesia’s national police headquarter to send some 780 extra paramilitary personnel to back up Aceh police.
The lead-up to the polls to choose governor, 13 districts’ chief and four mayors has been marred by a spate of unresolved shootings and fire-bombings that some has warned are politically motivated and should not be treated as normal crimes.[]

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