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All violent conflicts can be resolved peacefully: Jusuf Kalla

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Jakarta (ANTARA) – Indonesia’s former vice president, Jusuf Kalla, said, in principle, all violent conflicts can be resolved through peaceful settlement, but each conflict-torn area may demand a different approach.

“In principle, all violent conflicts can be resolved through peaceful settlement, but, regarding the Papuan conflict, its resolution approach may be distinct from that of Aceh,” he told participants of a focus group discussion organized by the Indonesian Defence Ministry here on Wednesday.

Since Indonesia’s independence in 1945, the country has experienced 15 large-scale conflicts, most of which have been resolved through military operations, he noted.

“In an independent Indonesia, we have undergone 15 large-scale conflicts with around 1,000 fatalities. Thirteen of the 15 large-scale conflicts were resolved through military operations, while the remaining two were solved through peaceful settlement,” he elaborated.

As an initiator of the peaceful resolution to the Aceh conflict, Kalla highlighted the importance of firmly resorting to the basic principle of delivering a win-win solution to achieve everlasting peace.

Referring to his own experience in bringing about peaceful conflict resolution in Aceh, he said the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) never surrendered the firearms of its armed wing’s personnel to the Indonesian government.

Instead, according to Kalla, GAM destroyed the weapons, considering that the best option for preserving its dignity. Therefore, in seeking a peaceful solution to an armed conflict, none of the warring parties must feel like a loser or feel their dignity has been lowered, he said.

“Aceh, that was so resistant, could be persuaded to resolve the conflict through a peace talk,” he said, adding that in resolving the Papuan conflict, the same strategy used for conflict resolution in Aceh cannot be applied.

In Aceh, the armed groups had a clear chain of command so the approach was prioritized at the upper level, while in Papua, the armed groups belong to various factions without a well-defined chain of command, he argued.

In Papua, armed groups operating in one district or village have no clear chain of command with those in other districts or villages, he said. This fact does not imply that the conflict in the area cannot be resolved, he remarked.

“Ways to resolve it remain available, but I will not elaborate on them openly here,” Jusuk Kalla said.

Over the past few years, there has been a spate of violence in several parts of Papua and West Papua, where armed separatist groups continue to pose a real threat to civilians and security personnel.

Intan Jaya district in Papua recorded its bloodiest month in September this year, with armed groups mounting a string of attacks in the area, which left two soldiers and two civilians dead and two others injured.

The notorious armed groups in the Indonesian province have continued their acts of terror in October.

On October 6, for instance, several members of an armed Papuan group reportedly fired at an Indonesian Military (TNI) post in Pasar Baru Kenyam neighborhood, Nduga district, injuring one civilian.

The civilian, identified as Yulius Wetipo (34), got shot while crossing the TNI security post on his way to work, according to information received by ANTARA. He was headed to the PT Dolarosa camp.

He reportedly sustained gunshot wounds on the left and right side of the waist. (INE)

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