Saturday, September 30, 2023

More Travel Warnings as Military Placed on Alert Ahead of Election Announcement

May 20, 2019 | 7:53 pm
The Indonesian Military (TNI) will, in addition to 7,000 soldiers assisting the police, deploy an additional 20,000 to secure vital key points in Jakarta and several other major cities. (Antara Photo/Sigid Kurniawan)
The Indonesian Military (TNI) will, in addition to 7,000 soldiers assisting the police, deploy an additional 20,000 to secure vital key points in Jakarta and several other major cities. (Antara Photo/Sigid Kurniawan)

Jakarta. More countries, including Australia and Canada, have warned their citizens to "exercise a high degree of caution" in Indonesia ahead of Wednesday's announcement of the official results of last month's presidential and legislative elections. 

The National Police have foiled an alleged plot by terrorists to attack the crowd expected to gather outside the offices of the General Elections Commission (KPU) in Central Jakarta to protest the results. Most of the protesters that are expected to participate in the planned protest are supporters of presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, who has rejected the election results. 

Despite saying the situation is under control, police still advised people to avoid mass gatherings on Wednesday. 

Several embassies in Jakarta took the cue and issued warnings to their citizens in Indonesia. 

"Avoid protests, demonstrations and rallies, as these can turn violent without warning. We haven't changed the level – exercise a high degree of caution in Indonesia overall, including Bali," the Australian Embassy said in a statement. 

Canada's travel advisory read: "Exercise a high degree of caution in Indonesia due to political and social tensions and the threat of terrorism throughout the country." 

Other countries that have issued travel advisories on Indonesia include the Netherlands, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Malaysia. 

National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo said the police would deploy 34,000 personnel, including 7,000 members of the Indonesian Military (TNI), to secure the city on Wednesday. 

"Based on our intelligence analysis, the situation is still very unpredictable. We hope the situation will continue to be safe, peaceful and that everything will proceed in an orderly manner," Dedi said. 

Police have also been in touch with protest coordinators in several regions and said the number of protesters planning to travel to Jakarta is getting smaller. "Still, it may not be significant. We will not get a fixed number until May 21," he said.

The TNI will deploy an additional 20,000 troops to secure vital key points in the capital and in several other major cities. 

Meanwhile, the military is welcoming several foreign naval vessels to Indonesia this week.

Australia's largest battleship, the aircraft carrier HMAS Canberra, is docked at Tanjung Priok Port in North Jakarta as part of Indo-Pacific Endeavour Task Force 2019 to promote security cooperation in the region, Antara reported. 

Seven fighter jets from the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle made an emergency landing in Banda Aceh on Saturday amid rough seas, local media reported. Four of the jets have since returned to the carrier, while three remain in Banda Aceh due to technical problems.

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