Jakarta tightens security ahead of visit by Obama and his family

Obama visits Prambanan Temple in Yogyakarta, June 29, 2017.
Obama visits Prambanan Temple in Yogyakarta, June 29, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA - Indonesian police have roped in the military to beef up security in Jakarta ahead of a visit by former US President Barack Obama on Friday (June 30).

Mr Obama has been on vacation in Indonesia with his wife Michelle Obama and their daughters Malia and Sasha since last week.

They started their holiday in Bali and are now in Yogyakarta - the country's former capital during the Indonesian National Revolution from 1945 to 1949 - where they visited Borobudur Temple on Thursday.

Indonesian troops will form the "first layer of security" and escort the Obamas once they arrive in Jakarta, said the city's deputy police chief Suntana in a Jakarta Globe report on Thursday.

"We will back up the military in the second and third layers," said Mr Suntana, adding that at least 900 more police officers will be deployed for the visit. "We will place our personnel accordingly so that all activities will run safely and smoothly."


The tightened security comes after a suicide bombing last month in East Jakarta killed three policemen.

The attack was claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.

America's 44th president has strong personal ties to Indonesia.

When he was six years old, Mr Obama moved to Jakarta after his divorced mother married Indonesian foreign student Lolo Soetoro.

He grew up mostly in the upper-class neighbourhood of Menteng in central Jakarta and attended a state-run school.

Mr Obama will deliver the keynote address at the 4th Congress of the Indonesian Diaspora in Jakarta on Saturday. He will also meet President Joko Widodo at the Istana Bogor presidential palace south of Jakarta during his stay.