22 Sep 2012

New Papuan Police Chief vows to take

8:54 am on 22 September 2012

The new police chief in Indonesia's Papua has vowed to take a grassroots approach to stopping the violence that has continues to plague the restive province.

The Jakarta Globe reports that General Tito Karnavian says solving the unrest problem is a matter of touching hearts and no longer differentiating between ethnicity, religion or race.

The South Sumatran native was formerly the head of Indonesia's anti-terrorism squad Densus 88 from 2004 to 2011.

The 47-year old was then appointed as deputy chief of the recently formed National Counterterrorism Agency.

He has replaced outgoing Chief Inspector General Bigman Lumban Tobing who came in for heavy criticism of his performance in Papua where rights groups say human rights abuses by Indonesia's security forces continue unchecked.

General Tito says the region's violence can be curbed through enforcement.

He declined to detail the police plan for addressing a recent spate of violent attacks near Freeport MacMoRan's Grasberg mine in Timika where gunmen opened fire on Military and Freeport security vehicles twice in recent weeks.

General Tito has asked for time to evaluate the Freeport security situation.