JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesian military and police investigators continue to investigate the illegal sale of arms by soldiers and policemen to Papuan insurgents at the Intan Jaya regency, a battleground for the long-running conflict in the province.
The Ministry of Health is vaccinating more than 4 thousand Muslim, Christian, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist and Confucian clerics with the Covid-19 vaccine to encourage their flock to follow suit.
The initiative comes after a survey showed that 41 percent of Indonesia’s population still rejected the vaccine.
And Indonesian flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has assured that its Boeing 777-300ER planes are fit for the skies, after engine failures and other mishaps bedevilled the Boeing 777-200. Read on to get more details of these news, as curated by our editors:
Indonesia Uncover Illegal Arms Sales to Papuan Insurgents
The Indonesian military and police continued to uncover more details about the sale of arms to Papuan insurgents, a day after the Regional Police in Maluku announced the arrest of two of their personnel for the illegal transaction earlier this February.
The Military Police for the Army’s Pattimura Regional Command for the provinces of Maluku and North Maluku disclosed that it is holding a Private MS for selling arms to the insurgents, which are designated as Armed Criminal Groups or KKB.
“Private MS admitted to selling over 600 rounds of ammunition designated for target practice [to the insurgents] via civilian accomplices,” said Military Police Corps Colonel Paul Johanes Pelupessy.
“He said that he sold the ammunition to a civilian known as AT, who then sold them again to his accomplice J, who allegedly sold them to the KKB. Both admitted to the transaction to the police, following their arrest.”
The Indonesian National Police’s Internal Affairs Unit at the Maluku Province Regional Police also suspected J, who was arrested in Bentuni, West Papua province, of transacting weapons with two policemen detained earlier this month for the same charge.
“The policemen,, who were identified as SHP and MRA, claimed they have no idea that the weapons would end up with the insurgents,” said Police Grand Commissioner Leo Surya Nugraha Simatupang, the police chief for the islands of Ambon and Lease.
The police also arrested four civilians as accomplices in the illicit transaction.
If found guilty, the soldiers and their police counterparts face dishonorable discharges and lengthy prison terms.
Indonesian Authorities Vaccinates Clerics With the Covid-19 Vaccine At Jakarta’s Istiqlal Mosque
The Indonesian Ministry of Health has vaccinated thousands of clerics from the country’s religions with a vaccine for the Covid-19 pandemic at Jakarta’s main mosque, Istiqlal Mosque, on Tuesday, February 22.
The initiative comes after a survey by the Indikator Politik Indonesia [IPI] survey body revealed that 41 percent of Indonesia’s population are still unwilling to be given a coronavirus vaccine.
Acting Ministry of Health Director General for the Prevention and Control of Diseases [P2P] Maxi Rein Rondonuwu said “the 4,080 Muslim, Christian, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist and Confucian clerics represent the religions practiced in Indonesia.”
“We hope that they can be an example for their followers to comply with the vaccination.”
Istiqlal Mosque official Abu Hurairah confirmed the jab drive for the clerics. Indonesia started its second vaccination drive on February 17. Indonesia aims to vaccinate over 38 million people in this current vaccination drive.
The government aims to vaccinate 182 million people or 70 percent of the population to gain herd immunity against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Garuda Indonesia: Boeing 777-300 ER Planes Still Airworthy
Indonesian flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has assured that the ten Boeing 777-300ER planes in its fleet are still airworthy, a day after a 777-200 flown by US carrier United Airlinen experienced engine malfunctions, causing fragments to fall off during a flight last Sunday.
“The 777-300ER planes flown by Garuda Indonesia are airworthy, as they have been serviced according to the manual from [Boeing], and the standards of the Directorate of Airworthiness and Operation,” said Garuda Indonesia President-Director Irfan Setiaputra.
In a written statement dated Tuesday, February 23, he added that the 777-300ER’s engines are different from the Pratt and Whitney PW4000 engines used on the 777-200. “The 777-300ER uses the GE90-115B engine produced by General Electric.”
The Pratt and Whitney PW4000 powered Boeing 777-200 mishap prompted United Airlines to ground the 24 planes of this type pending an investigation. Japan also forbade the type to operate in its airspace.
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