Indonesian Military chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto and Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi sign an agreement of special security units for Indonesian missions. (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Foreign Ministry to Beef Up Security at Dangerous Posts


DECEMBER 20, 2017

Jakarta. The Indonesian Military, or TNI, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday (20/12) signed a memorandum of understanding on establishing elite security units at Indonesian missions in risky or dangerous locations.

The first one will be deployed in Kabul, Afghanistan, early next year.

"Security developments in Afghanistan can potentially threaten Indonesian missions … with more areas controlled by the Taliban and ISIS [the Islamic State group] in Afghanistan, we understand there is a need to increase security at the missions," TNI chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto said.

In late May, a bomb exploded in the center of Kabul's diplomatic quarter. The attack shattered windows of nearby buildings, also the Indonesian Embassy, two kilometers away from the site.

Afghanistan has authorized Indonesia to deploy the special unit, said Cecep Herawan, the ministry's director general for information and public diplomacy.

Hadi and Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi signed the agreement at the Pancasila Building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs complex in Jakarta.

"In our diplomacy, we must consider security factors, not only for Indonesians living abroad, but also for the safety of Indonesian diplomats and [members] of Indonesian missions, who symbolize our national sovereignty," Retno said.

The ministry and TNI are still discussing the technical aspects of the cooperation. Cecep said it will involve members of the Army's Kopassus special forces unit, but it is not yet clear how many soldiers will be sent to Kabul.

"Hopefully, after discussing the technicalities, we will be able to deploy them at the embassy in Kabul next year," Retno said, adding that soon other Indonesian missions in dangerous locations will also receive additional security.