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ICC Note: The Indonesian military says that is capable to bring soldiers to account for any wrongdoing, should they be found guilty.  But that is the question raised by many in Indonesia: is the military able to police itself?

By Katharina R. Lestari, Jakarta

9/02/2015 Indonesia (

Indonesian Bishop John Philip Saklil of Timika in Indonesia’s Papua province accused the military and police of carrying out violent attacks on civilians in the conflict-prone region, calling security personnel “protectors of immoral criminals”.

“Based on our record, there are a number of violent incidents being brutally committed by members of the Indonesian military and police in our ecclesiastical area,” the bishop said in a statement sent to on Sept. 2.

Bishop Saklil referred to five specific acts of violence that occurred between December and August. None of the incidents were properly investigated by the military or police, he said.

The latest violence happened Aug. 28 when two soldiers allegedly opened fire on a graduation party being held inside a church compound in Timika, killing two people and injuring five.

According to the bishop’s statement, the soldiers had tried to enter the party earlier in the evening, but were blocked by parish security personnel. They later returned, allegedly enraged and drunk, according to the bishop’s statement.

The soldiers entered the church compound and pointed their weapons at members of the congregation before opening fire. Killed in the attack were Imanuel Herman Mairimau, 23, and Yulianus Okoware, 23, both Catholics. The pair were buried Aug. 30 following a funeral Mass in St. Francis Mission Station in Timika.

Local media reported that several suspects were arrested, but Bishop Saklil raised doubts that the military can be trusted to investigate themselves.

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