Subject: Analysis of Army documents from East Timor
Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 15:56:23 GMT
EAST TIMOR UNDER THE INDONESIAN JACKBOOT
In October 1998 a large number of Indonesian army documents found their way out of East Timor and landed on the desk of an East Timor solidarity activist in Australia. The documents, in total more than 100 pages, consist of numerous tables containing details of military personnel in East Timor and covering many aspects of the armys presence in the occupied country. They provide, for the first time ever, a comprehensive picture of the precise nature of the armys structure in the territory and the extent and depth of its penetration of East Timorese political, economic and social life. The documents originate from the Territorial Military Command IX Udayana, based in Den Pasar, Bali. The Regional Military Command in East Timor, Korem 164, falls under the command of the Udayana Military Command. No one, not even military spokesmen, has sought to claim that the documents are not authentic. Press reports have all quoted diplomatic sources as confirming their authenticity.
In general, they confirm what we have known for many years, that East Timor is a heavily militarised country where the Indonesian armed forces (ABRI) exercise a tight grip on the everyday lives of the East Timorese people. They prove that ABRI regard East Timor as a place where they must maintain a pervasive and deep-rooted military presence to deal with people living in the towns, the countryside and in the bush, the vast majority of whom are totally opposed to the occupation.
The documents also prove conclusively that:
The number of troops
The composition of the troops
that is to say, an increase from November 1997 to August 1998 of 2,029 troops or an increase of 11.3 per cent.
The above figures are for August not early August. The distinction is important because the armed forces invited the foreign press to witness the departure of troops from East Timor on 28 July and announced further reductions in early August, claiming that this had led to a reduction in the number of combat troops. Foreign Minister Ali Alatas alleged in late October that 1,300 battle troops have been withdrawn from East Timor and that of those remaining almost one hundred percent are territorial troops who do not fight but help people in agriculture, road and bridge development [Reuters, 28 October 1998]. As we can see, there was an increase not a reduction over the period and even a slight increase in August over July. It goes without saying that all the talk about helping people in agriculture and development is a nothing more than a smoke-screen.
The same tables also include figures for non-ABRI forces itemised as civil servants and peoples resistance or wanra forces. While almost all the civil servant forces were attached to the territorial troops, more than 60 per cent of the wanra troops were attached to the combat troops (see below). In the Indonesian armys defence structure, the entire population is held to be responsible for defence and security in the form of civil defence (hansip or pertahanan sipil) which consists of wanra and public order units as well as militia (ratih, rakyat terlatih or trained people). There is no mention in the documents of ratih or civil defence hansip.
Taken together, these non-ABRI forces were just under 4,000 and remained virtually unchanged over the nine-month period. These men are armed personnel who are trained for military duty. Although the tables give no hint of the ethnic composition of these forces, it is likely that a sizeable number consist of immigrant Indonesians. These additional forces brought the total for the three months to:
Incidentally, medical corps personnel, scores of whom were alleged to have been brought in to replace the departing combat troops in August amounted to no more than 84 persons.
Separate tables for each of the months give breakdowns of organik and penugasan troops. The breakdown in August 1998 for organik troops show that 4,385 men were attached to the thirteen Kodims or district military commands; the largest kodims were in Baucau (615 men), Lospalos (436 men) and Manatuto (416 men). Police forces spread out to the thirteen districts amounted in all to 2,925 men, with the largest number located at police HQ in Dili (578) and in the Dili (355), Baucau (210) and Bobonaro (204) police commands.
The other major contingent of organik troops are Battalions 744 and 745 with a sizeable number of East Timorese. However, all the command positions down to platoon level (a platoon consists of up to 15 men) are in the hands of Indonesian officers. According to East Timorese sources, this pattern was introduced following desertions by many East Timorese officers holding positions of command in the 1980s. Battalions 744 and 745 were originally not part of the territorial military structure in East Timor. The first digit, 7, indicates that the battalions were originally part of Military Command VII/Wirabuana based in Ujung Pandang, Sulawesi. Their connection with Sulawesi now appears to have been severed.
Back in 1978, the provincial administration of East Timor was run by the Defence Department in Jakarta [see also section on ABRIs domination in the civilian administration] while the military structure was directly answerable to Jakarta. In 1978 a special operational command called Koopskam was set up for East Timor, under the direct supervision of ABRI headquarters. Being a special military project with continuing military operations, troops were dispatched to East Timor from all parts of the archipelago, a tradition which continues to this day. In 1989 Koopskam was re-named Kolakops, with the Dili military commander concurrently holding the post of Kolakops commander. After the Santa Cruz massacre when international pressure reached a new pitch, Kolakops was scrapped and East Timor became a regular resort military command or Korem 164/Wira Dharma. under the military command in Bali. However this turns out to have been a cosmetic change as large numbers of penugasan troops continue to be deployed in the colony.
The breakdown of the penugasan troops in August was as follows:
The other sizeable contingents are:
We can draw several important conclusions about the Satgas Tribuana troops:
There is no mention in any of the documents about the existence of Menwa, the student regiments that exist in all universities throughout Indonesia. These units which function under the instructions, and receive training from, the local military commands, have the task of keeping a close watch on their fellow students. We know for certain that there is a Menwa with about three hundred members in the University of East Timor (UNTIM), whose members include both Indonesian and Timorese students.
Brimob, the riot police
The Brimob units deployed in East Timor are subdivided into organik and penugasan units. We see from the documents that more than a thousand Brimob personnel are stationed in East Timor. One of the documents dated August 1998 reveals that the organik troops included Brimob Company 5486 consisting of 633 men. The penugasan troops include three Brimob companies, Brimob Company 5127 from North Sumatra (121 men), Brimob Company 5135 from Riau (128 men) and Brimob Company 5151 from Palembang (131 men), bringing the total of Brimob troops in East Timor to 1,013 men. Fresh Brimob companies continue to arrive in East Timor. At the end of October, three Brimob companies arrived from Bali and Kalimantan to help maintain civil order [AFP, 28 October 1998]. We have no way of knowing whether they were replacing other Brimob troops but it is undoubtedly true that nowhere in Indonesia is there such a high concentration of riot police per head of the population as in East Timor.
The armys presence in every village
Babinsa officers are regarded as the eyes and ears of the occupation forces, collecting intelligence on a regular basis. By using Timorese, ABRI aim to set Timorese against Timorese in line with the classic colonial policy of divide and rule, relying on a spying network which should work more effectively than if Indonesian soldiers were used, further intensifying the populations hatred for the occupiers. However, this is likely to be a weak link, since many Timorese babinsas may share the sentiments of the villagers who they supervise.
East Timorese members of ABRI
We can conclude: that:
Like every other document in the set, this is an official document of Korem 164, under the IX Regional Military Command, nailing the lie that these para-military forces are not incorporated as a part of ABRI but are independently managed vigilante units. The twelve teams listed are:
In other words, there is a para-military team for almost every one of the thirteen districts in East Timor.
There is no mention of what is thought to be the largest and most infamous para-military group, Gadapaksi. Gadapaksi is the brain-child of former Kopassus commander Lt.General Prabowo, financed from his private funds.
Prabowos recent fall from grace may explain why loyalties are shifting. Recently, some Gadapaksi hirelings were reported to have joined in calls for the resignation of the governor, Osorio Soares, one of Prabowo closest cronies. The 13th item on the list of resistance forces consists of 54 respected citizens and local leaders. These can be none other than the traditional or informal leaders, possibly including some pro-Indonesian priests. Their inclusion as resistance forces confirms that the forces of occupation are always trying to rally traditional leaders so as to bolster their control over the community at large. These traditional leaders may also be relied on to nurture members of the para-military teams.
Altogether there are 1,188 para-militaries. The death toll is striking: eleven team members were killed in action (gugur) during the period in question, which suggests that the teams are also used in armed conflict with the guerrillas.
ABRIs domination of the civil administration
As for the executive posts, nineteen key posts are held by karyawan appointees in the first-level regional administration for East Timor (Dati-I), and 64 in the second-level or district (Dati-II) administrations.
The following Dati-I posts are held by army officers:
The array of army officers holding key regional administration posts is part and parcel of the way in which the forces of occupation manage Indonesias colonial territory through effective control of the population and resources. As Rui Gomes who, until his defection in 1997 was Head of Research at East Timor Regional Planning Board, told TAPOL, the kitchen must be rigorously controlled by means of a system which manages all the colonys physical and human resources.
Ten of the posts grouped under B above place army officers in strategic positions to exercise control over the populace. They are placed at the head of a range of offices which penetrate down to the lowest levels of society, whose officials have powers to control people in the conduct of their everyday lives and oversee indoctrination. For example, according to Rui Gomes, the Communications Office keeps tabs on all official correspondence between the province and Jakarta, it handles the affairs and vets the East Timorese given scholarships at Indonesian universities or sent on missions abroad and handles the trips to Indonesia or overseas of all local government officials.
Four of the posts grouped under C, the chiefs of trade and industry, co-operatives, and the logistics agency and the director of the Regional Development Bank are in a strategic position to control all the colonys economic and commercial activities and safeguard the financial resources of army-related business activities, in other words the patronage network for army officers and hangers-on.
The head and secretary of the Regional Planning Board - Bappeda - (group D) occupy the strategic positions from which to control the use of resources and ensure that the proceeds of projects are distributed fairly among officers, officials and business enterprises in East Timor and Jakarta. As a rule, all projects requiring more than Rp. 500 million are assigned to businesses in Java as businesses in East Timor are unable to provide the necessary capital. Bappeda has the power to allocate these projects. These are the executives who determine which funding agencies may operate in East Timor, the types of building projects, and the listing of poor villages which is a way of acquiring additional funds from the centre.
The deputy governor shadows the governor, a post which for political reasons has always been occupied by an East Timorese. Just as the governor has always been Timorese, so his deputy has always been a senior-ranking military man. Until May 1998, the deputy-governor was Brig-General Haribowo who served in the position for ten years. Haribowo is one of the longest-serving officers in East Timor, having served there for fourteen years. The assistant governors are on hand to ensure that documents relating to the running of the colony are speedily handled and duly signed by the governor; in other words, they must ensure the smooth running of the governors office to safeguard the vested interests of military and non-military Indonesians.
The 64 Dati-II karyawan appointees include three district heads (bupati), three district secretaries, 13 heads of social-political departments (one for each district), two staff members of social-political departments, 11 heads of district civil defence offices, 31 village heads, and one head of a district co-operative department.
These karyawan executives function as an extension of the military establishment and remain firmly under military discipline. Moreover, although they wear civilian dress, they do not treat their co-workers as equals and expect, and receive, the deference due to army personnel. Their presence is a constant source of friction and fear in the civilian offices which they oversee.
The following conclusions can be drawn:
To sum up, the documents show convincingly that army penetration of the provincial and local administration in East Timor is overwhelming. The militarys dwifungsi doctrine is enforced with particular vigour in Indonesias colony of East Timor. It is not enough to call for the withdrawal of all Indonesian troops from East Timor. We must also call for the demilitarisation of the civil administration and the removal of all army appointees holding executive and legislative positions.
Written by Carmel Budiardjo and Liem Soei Liong of TAPOL, with thanks to George Aditjondro for his comments on the documents transcribed by Andrew McNaughtan, and additional comments by Rui Gomes and John Roosa.
TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign 111 Northwood Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey CR7 8HW, UK Phone: 0181 771-2904 Fax: 0181 653-0322 email: email@example.com Campaigning to expose human rights violations in Indonesia, East Timor, West Papua and Aceh