Indonesia gravely deplores irresponsible media reporting practice as demonstrated by a printed and online media based in Australia, known as the Saturday Paper, on 22 December 2018, accusing Indonesia of using chemical weapons in its operations in Nduga, Papua.
The allegation highlighted by the said media is totally baseless, non-factual, and gravely misleading. Indonesia possesses no chemical weapons.
As a compliant member of the OPCW, Indonesia has no possession of any chemical agents as listed in Schedule 1 of Chemical Weapons Convention. Accordingly, Indonesia also imports, uses, and stores Schedules 2 and 3 chemical agents for strictly peaceful purposes in supporting national industry, confirmed by no less than 19 OPCW inspections since 2004.
The involvement of military component in the operation, most particularly air rotary wing assets, was strictly as assistance to law enforcement apparatus, and not a military deployment per se in an otherwise internal security operations.
The misleading report has also eclipsed the real issue at hand, which was the murder of 19 innocent civilians on 2 December 2018 by armed separatist groups in Nduga, Papua.
These civilians were construction workers tasked to build segments of Trans-Papua highway, as part of the nation-wide effort to elevate the well being of Papuans as Indonesian citizen.
Indonesia will take necessary measures against the said media.