Referring to Nawacita program, the development for underdeveloped and isolated areas have become the priority of President Jokowi. Hence, the developments in Papua have become an important agenda for the government. Two years ongoing, the government of President Jokowi-JK have completed 80 percent of Trans Papua Road development. Many parties are involved in the development, opening paths that were previously closed, empowering areas that are isolated, and opening access to cheaper economic means for the Papuans.
Besides the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housings (PUPR), that is directly assigned for the development project, there are other roles that are equally as important. These roles are being held by those who break through difficult environments where roads need to be built, with endless jungles and mountains. Yes, that role is held by the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) represented by XVII/Cendrawasih Military Command.
Just a little bit of history, TNI indeed has a long history. Not only that it has changed its name over and over again, TNI has a history of conflicts and politics of divide and rule which came from whether internal or external parties. It’s no wonder, since TNI is the frontliner in protecting Indonesia. Of course, many parties are unhappy if TNI carried out a job well done. The hard work of TNI is not only about bloody wars in protecting the nation. In many daily things around us, TNI has also been present in helping civilians. In the context of Papua developments, TNI has taken quite a heavy role.
In several photos reported by Antara Foto photographer, Sigid Kurniawan, we can see TNI’s role in the development of Trans Papua road, taken from beritagar.id
First photo: In the first photo, Sigid Kurniawan captured a moment of several TNI soldiers who were drenched under the rain, in an area in Papua. The temperature reached 6 degrees Celsius and rain pouring down on them did not hold them back.
Second photo: Sigid wrote a caption on his photo: HEAVY MACHINERY. In the photo, we can see a National Army soldier was operating a bulldozer on an uphill road. Another soldier is in the back. It seems like he’s giving instructions. The high and steep environment, swarmed with rocks, requires them to be skilled in controlling heavy machinery, moreover on a hard environment like this. Sigid mentioned that the two soldiers came from Denzipur 12/OHH Nabire and Denzipur 13/PPA Sorong Zeni, TNI (POP I).
Third photo: The Nduga in-land is an area that is notorious with its hard environment. We can see on the photo, the steep hills on the right and on the left. On the third photo that was taken by Sigid, a soldier is seen wearing a raincoat in bright yellow color, heaving fuel supply drums. Again, the soldier had to lift the drum with only his body strength, on an uphill road.
Fourth photo: Sigid’s photo shows a road, extending into oblivion. The road on top of the mountain looks foggy. The photographer described, the 278.6 km road, as the road that connects Wamena and Mamugu. The steep fence-less road is under development since January of 2016. Unfortunately, several areas that are crossing that road are still clouded with armed conflicts.
Four out of eight photos presented by Sigid Kurniawan shows the public that TNI has a big role which is full of struggles in the development of Trans Papua Road. Not only in the physical matter of lifting heavy equipment, TNI also secures the development of Trans Papua Road from parties that have the intentions to attack, moreover with guns, like what had occurred in Sinak. This is indeed such a high dedication in order for Papua to be able to grow in unison with the rest of Indonesian territory.