Bali implements ‘Grand Castle’ security ahead of G20 summit

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From escort electric vehicles and horse patrols to warships and fighter jets, security at Indonesia’s “Island of the Gods” Bali has been ramped up ahead of the G20 leaders’ summit.

A team of more than 18,000 police officers and soldiers has been tasked to ensure the safety of the world leaders and their delegates as they convene for high-level meetings at the upscale resort area of Nusa Dua on Nov 15 and 16.

Code-named Operation Grand Castle, the massive security measures cover any potential threat – from bomb and terrorist attacks to street protests and natural disasters, the authorities say.

“We are optimistic, we are ready for this big game for our nation. This is a great honor for our nation,” Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto said of the “extraordinary preparations”.

As first-time president of the Group of 20 (G20), which comprises some of the world’s largest economies, Indonesia is not taking any chances in ensuring the success of the summit.

Bali is no stranger to hosting international conferences and events, but security is especially tight this time round, residents say.

At least 17 heads of states and governments have confirmed their attendance, including United States President Joe Biden, Chinese President Xi Jinping and newly elected British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he will give the summit a miss, as has Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who was invited by President Joko Widodo as an observer.

Twelve warships, two F-16 fighter jets, and 13 helicopters will safeguard Bali’s waters and airspace, while Anoa armored vehicles will be on standby to evacuate attendees in case of any life-threatening emergencies.

A battleship docked in the waters around Nusa Dua will function as a floating hospital, to cater to summit invitees.

Electric vehicles, 42 cars and 126 motorcycles, will escort the leaders and delegates.

Another 84 electric motorcycles packed with helmets, jackets, pants, shoes and gloves will be used as security and rescue vehicles, according to the Indonesian military, or TNI.

In Ring 1, the most secure area including The Apurva Kempinski Bali hotel, where the main meeting will be held, 18 police officers on Dutch-bred horses will patrol the grounds in three shifts.

Mounted patrols are particularly useful on Bali’s many beaches to help keep order in the event of mass protests or riots.

The movement of people is also being monitored. and curbed.

At the airport and ports, a special security team will use facial recognition technology to monitor both domestic and foreign visitors to the island.

Locals have been instructed by the authorities not to hold traditional ceremonies and religious activities until Thursday, while schools switch to online lessons during this time and employees work from home.

To prevent traffic congestion, vehicles with odd versus even license plate numbers are restricted from traveling on key roads on alternate days.




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