Indonesia Temporarily Suspends Joint Military Operations With Australia

Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) personnel parading on Armed Forces Day this year in Surabaya. (Antara Photo/M. Risyal Hidayat

By : Erin Cook | on 2:28 PM January 04, 2017
Category : News, Featured, Foreign Affairs, Security

Jakarta. The Indonesian military, or TNI, has temporarily suspended joint operations with its Australian counterparts effective immediately citing “technical matters,” a spokesman said on Wednesday (04/02).

The call was made last week after members of the special forces unit Kopassus reported teaching materials insulting the TNI on display as well as other material which allegedly demeaned Pancasila, the country’s founding ideology, Kompas reported.

“Indonesia and Australia will resolve this technical matter and then the co-operation will continue,” TNI spokesman Maj. Gen. Wuryanto told Australia’s Fairfax Media.

Wuryanto did not elaborate on how long the suspension would continue, nor specifics on the offensive materials.

Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne in a statement released Wednesday afternoon said an investigation into the incident was launched last week and is expected to be finalized shortly.

“Australia is committed to building a strong defense relation with Indonesia, including through cooperation in training. We will work with Indonesia to restore full cooperation as soon as possible,” Payne said.

Australia and Indonesia had patched relations following a diplomatic falling out in April 2015 after the Indonesian government executed two Australian nationals for drug offenses. This is the first military suspension since 2013, when Australia was found to have attempted to spy on the phone calls of then president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife.

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