The Indonesia-Australia military cooperation exercises have been put to a halt. This was because the former found the military training posters used by the latter “offensive” against West Papua.
The training posters were used at the SAS headquarters in Perth in November 2015. According to the reports, an Indonesian official found the posters “insulting” and hence complained about the same to the authorities. Following Indonesia’s grievances, the Australian authorities tried to settle things and make the relations smoother.
Australia & Indonesia on Military Training “Offensive” Posters
On November 23, 2015, ADF Chief Air Chief Marshal Mark Binsik wrote to his Indonesian counterpart, General Gatot Nurmantyo, stating that there was no intention of Australia of offending or insulting the nation. He said that the military training posters did not indicate the opinion of the Aussie Defence Force. In addition to the ADF chief, Aussie Chief of Army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell also tried to clear things out.
The Australian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that there is a possibility of an investigation to launch into the matter as Indonesia considered the posters as an alleged insult to the Indonesian military or TNI. Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne confirmed that Australia was trying to smoothen its relationship with Indonesia. In her statement, she mentioned Binsik’s appeal to his counterpart as well.
“The Australian Army has looked into the serious concerns that were raised and the investigation into the incident is being finalized,” Payne said in a statement on Wednesday. TNI spokesman Major General Wuryanto confirmed about the temporary suspension of the military cooperation between the two nations. However, he gave a confirmed reason saying it was all due to “technical matters”. The ABC cited the sources saying that they confirmed the use of military training posters linked to Indonesia’s sensitive West Papua topic. West Papua is the nation’s province struggling hard to seek independence from Jakarta.