Indonesian president appoints army chief as head of army – benarnews
Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has appointed the chief of staff of the army that has ended so-called virginity tests for cadets leading the country’s armed forces, the president of the country said on Wednesday. parliament.
General Andika Perkasa is expected to replace Air Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto as Commander of the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI), if the House of Representatives confirms his appointment, as scheduled. Hadi is due to retire from the army on November 30.
“Today, the Secretary of State pronounced [to the House] the letter from the president designating General Andika Perkasa as candidate for the post of head of the TNI, ”Speaker Puan Maharani told reporters.
Puan said no date has been set for a confirmation of charges hearing.
Uniquely named Secretary of State Pratikno said the government hopes the appointment will be confirmed soon.
“We hope to get the approval as soon as possible so that the government can immediately install the new TNI commander,” Pratikno said.
Born in Bandung on December 21, 1964, Andika graduated from the Indonesian Military Academy in 1987. He completed graduate studies at the National War College in Washington and the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at George Washington University.
Andika is expected to serve as a military leader for 13 months before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 58.
“The career has increased dramatically”
Human Rights Watch Indonesia researcher Andreas Harsono welcomed Andika’s appointment.
Andika’s decision to stop subjecting female recruits to so-called virginity tests has also been widely welcomed by activists. Women make up about 15 percent of the nearly 800,000 military personnel in Southeast Asia’s largest country.
Andika was also praised for supporting military and volleyball athlete Aprilio Manganang, who competed as a woman but became a man in March.
Andreas said the army chief had shown courage in abolishing virginity tests, but was likely to face a more difficult task introducing further reforms in his new role.
“It’s not easy because TNI is much bigger,” Andreas told BenarNews.
Khairul Fahmi, a researcher at the Institute for Strategic and Security Studies (ISES), said Andika would face the task of modernizing the military’s aging arsenals and upgrading staff capabilities.
“And it is no less important to stop the conflicts between the soldiers and the police, which still occur,” Fahmi told BenarNews.
Indonesian police dislike the military’s heavy involvement in the state’s civil affairs, according to the Australian Institute of International Affairs. This rivalry has led to numerous clashes between staff on both sides, which endanger the lives of citizens, local reports said.
Andika’s stepfather is Abdullah Mahmud Hendropriyono, a retired general and former head of the National Intelligence Agency (BIN), which is among Jokowi’s backers.
As a member of the army’s special forces (Kopassus), Andika led an operation in 2002 to arrest al-Qaeda-linked activist Omar Al-Farouq, apparently at the request of his stepfather who headed the BIN. at the time.
Two days after Jokowi took office in 2014, Andika was appointed head of the presidential security corps, where he served for two years before being promoted to major general.
Made Supriatma, a researcher at the ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore, wrote in a 2019 article that Andika has had the most impressive career path in the Indonesian military in recent times.
“His military career grew dramatically when Jokowi came to power,” Made said.
“In Indonesia, it is widely believed that an officer’s personal relationships with powerful politicians will determine promotion to a strategic position.