|Subject: AN: ABRI claims more troops out eventually
Date: Tue, 01 Sep 1998 10:22:36 -0400
From: "John M. Miller"
Tuesday, September 1, 1998 Troop withdrawal: ABRI TO PULL OUT ALL PERSONNEL FROM E TIMOR IN DUE TIME
DENPASAR, BALI - The Indonesian Armed Forces (ABRI) will pull out all its combat troops from East Timor indue time, chief of the Udayana regional military command, Maj Gen Adam R Damiri, has said.
"We have long been planning to withdraw our troops (from East Timor) and this is not due to foreign pressure," Damiri said here Monday.
He said the military will only retain health and spiritual detachments and a territorial task force once it withdraws all its combat troops.
Some 1,500 troops have recently been withdrawn from East Timor but 4 battalions consisting of about 4,000 troops have still been left behind.
"Their task however is only to assist the East Timorese in non-combatant fields," he added.
He said the battalions were assigned special missions to help improve the welfare of the East Timorese, such as by breeding livestock and cultivating crops.
"So far, the East Timorese have been living peacefully, due to the promising results of the recent tripartite dialog between Indonesia, Portugal and the United Nations," he said.