Indonesia Sends 400 Additional Soldiers to Disputed Eastern Region of Papua

Indonesia has decided to send 400 additional soldiers to the easternmost part of Papua as its government attempts to counter the attacks of separatist forces that plagued the region following the assassination of a top military official late in April, a spokesman for the country’s army announced on Thursday.

The move was aimed to bolster the country’s military presence in the disputed province of Papua.

Prior to this decision, Indonesian President Joko Widodo has already issued an order which enforces a military crackdown against separatist movements after Brig. Gen. Gusti Putu Danny Nugraha, a senior intelligence officer in Papua, was fatally shot during an ambush on April 26.

The Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) deployed 400 battle-hardened military officers of the elite Infantry Battalion 315 to Papua after undergoing month-long special training that only ended late in April.

The battle-hardened battalion earned the nickname of “Satan’s forces” after playing a major role also in pacifying the bloody conflicts that happened in East Timor and Aceh.

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