|Subject: AFP: Pro-Indonesia militias offer
to reveal all about East Timor
Also: AFP: General hits out at militia offer to reveal all on East Timor violence; SCMP: Militias willing to squeal in return for safety: letter;
Pro-Indonesia militias offer to reveal all about East Timor
JAKARTA, Oct 17 (AFP) - Four former leaders of pro-Indonesia militias who helped run a campaign of wholesale murder and looting in East Timor last year have offered to reveal everything they know in exchange for guarantees of safety.
In a letter addressed to the UN Security Council, the four accused the Indonesian military of trying to assassinate them before they disclosed army involvment in the violence that swept East Timor in September 1999 after the territory voted for independence.
The letter, dated October 14 and a copy of which was obtained here Tuesday, was sent by four former commanders: Joanico Cesario, Domingo Pereira, Cancio Lopez de Caravalho and Nemecio Lopez de Carvalho.
The writers said copies had been sent to 35 people including United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, Pope John Paul II, and the leaders of the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia as well as Indonesia's most senior politicians.
The four offered to "honestly, accurately and thoroughly expose all that we know concerning the various events that occurred in East Timor" in exchange for legal guarantees from the Security Council.
They accused the Indonesian military of "acts of terror and intimidation" and of trying to kill militia commanders for their knowledge of "secrets concerning various cases of human rights violations and crimes against humanity in East Timor."
The four said the military also seemed to believe they knew the circumstances of the murder of three UN relief workers based at refugee camps in Atambua, West Timor, on September 6 this year.
They had also become targets "in order to destroy both witnesses and evidence" surrounding those killings, they said.
A UN-supervised ballot held on August 30 last year resulted in an overwhelming vote for independence from Indonesia in East Timor.
The result sparked an orgy of militia-led destruction and violence that left around 600 people dead.
Indonesia-backed militias forced some 300,000 East Timorese over the border into West Timor, where 130,000 remain, mostly in squalid camps.
The four writers were seeking guarantees of safety for 54 militia leaders, members and advisors, including notorious Aitarak (Thorn) militia leader Eurico Guterres.
The letter stated that militia leaders' "lives and safety are being threatened" and asked that the 54 be cantoned in a secure area in West Timor.
It stated the militias were now "fully committed" to their own disarmament and disbandment.
"We ... will not use West Timor as the base for physical/armed conflict," the letter stated.
One of the six commanders named as a suspect in Indonesia's own investigation into last year's violence in East Timor was killed and dismembered on September 5 this year.
Meanwhile, Guterres is under arrest in Jakarta and under investigation as a suspect in human rights crimes in the territory.
He has dismissed the letter as the "personal statement" of "a handful of PPI members," and urged his supporters to ignore it.
SCMP: Militias willing to squeal in return for safety: letter
South China Morning Post Wednesday, October 18, 2000
EAST TIMOR Militias willing to squeal in return for safety: letter VAUDINE ENGLAND in Jakarta
A letter purporting to be from the East Timorese militia gangs in West Timor suggests their members are so scared of being killed by Indonesian forces that they are willing to trade secrets for safety with the United Nations.
The letter was received by the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor, (Untaet), the Indonesian Government and embassies in Jakarta yesterday and appears to be from the Pro-Integration Armed Forces (PPI), a militia umbrella group.
It appeals for safety guarantees in return for details of the violence which followed last year's independence vote in East Timor.
A Western diplomat said he believed the letter was genuine and would be looked at carefully.
The PPI alleges the Indonesian military and police are terrorising and trying to kill militia commanders to hide the truth about the extent of Jakarta's involvement in the death and destruction inflicted by militia thugs in East Timor last September.
The UN has demanded prosecution of those responsible for the violence but a legal deadline, which expired yesterday, for indictment of those responsible was again extended by Jakarta. Militia leader Eurico Guterres is in a Jakarta police cell but, among other demands, the PPI's letter wants him tried by the International Court of Justice in the Hague, instead of Indonesia.
When contacted in his cell, Guterres appeared to confirm the letter's authenticity but distanced himself from its sentiments, for now.
"Even though my lower pro-integration staff have sent that letter to seek protection for me from the United Nations and the international community, from the police and TNI (Indonesian army), I think it is an emotional thing," he said. "Now, I am still trusting the Indonesian Government, especially the police."
Last Thursday, Guterres said he was happy to be questioned by police, "because now I have the opportunity to tell who was really behind the violence in East Timor and who gave the orders can finally be unmasked".
The militia letter notes that "the good will and good co-operation established with the Indonesian Government has been totally ignored, not appreciated and belittled". It then outlines a new "stance" from the militias: "We will honestly, accurately and thoroughly expose all that we know concerning the various events that occurred in East Timor . . . but we request attention to our case and international legal and security guarantees."
Purportedly signed by four top militia, the letter lists 54 leaders and members, including Eurico Guterres, who want safe passage.
AFP: General hits out at militia offer to reveal all on East Timor violence
JAKARTA, Oct 19 (AFP) - An Indonesian general and former militia commanders lashed out at four ex-militia leaders who wrote to the UN Security Council offering to reveal who was behind the wave of violence that swept East Timor last year, reports said Thursday.
The head of the Udayana military command which oversees the Indonesian half of Timor island, Major General Kiki Syahnakrie, denied claims in the letter that military and police were trying to assassinate former pro-Jakarta militia leaders.
"We have never terrorized former pro-integration fighters," Syahnakrie told the state Antara news agency.
The four commanders of the umbrella Pro-Integration Fighters (PPI) were only worried they would be named in investigations into the killing of three foreign UN aid workers in West Timor on September 6, he said.
In a letter addressed to the UN Security Council, the four accused the Indonesian military of trying to assassinate them in order to stop them exposing army involvment in the violence that swept East Timor in September 1999 after the territory voted for independence.
The letter, dated October 14 was sent by four former commanders: Joanico Cesario, Domingo Pereira, Cancio Lopez de Caravalho and Nemecio Lopez de Carvalho.
Syahnakrie told Antara they probably felt they were being terrorized following the arrest of six East Timorese suspected of killing the UN workers. He said the suspects had mentioned the involvement of other East Timorese groups.
In their letter, the four former commanders offered to "honestly, accurately and thoroughly expose all that we know concerning the various events that occurred in East Timor" following the UN-held ballot on August 30 last year in exchange for legal guarantees from the Security Council.
Syahnakrie accused them of misusing the names of 50 ex-militia leaders and members.
The letter-writers made a specific request for former Aitarak (or "Thorn") militia chief Eurico Guterres to be tried by the International Court of Justice instead of an Indonesian court.
From his prison cell in Jakarta, Guterres dismissed the letter as the "emotional" and "personal" statement of a small group of his sub-ordinates who wrote it without his authorisation.
PPI commander Joao Tavares told the Java Post newspaper that the letter had angered other ex-militia leaders.
"They included my name and Eurico Guterres' name without our knowledge ... as former PPI commander and deputy commander (respectively), (we) knew nothing of their plan and we feel we have been disregarded," Tavares said.
One of the letter-writers told Australia's Age newspaper Thursday that they were ready to release documents proving former military chief General Wiranto and former president BJ Habibie had ordered the destruction and killing in East Timor.
"Habibie said to us ... 'I give the order to all of you that if autonomy loses, your job is to clean East Timor from the East to the West and leave nothing alive but ants'," Nemecio Lopez de Carvalho was quoted as saying in Kupang.
Their letter also called for a Security Council team to supervise the disarming and disbanding of militias, as well as investigations into the killing of the three UN workers.
Following East Timor's overwhelming vote for independence last year, Jakarta-backed pro-Indonesia militias led a rampage of murder and destruction that drove more than 250,000 over the border into Indonesian-ruled West Timor.
Some 130,000 refugees remain in West Timor.
Indonesia is under intense pressure to identify and prosecute those responsible for the violence.
It has also been under pressure from the UN Security Council to disarm and disband the militias, who are accused of controlling the refugee camps, preventing refugees from returning home, and of launching raids into East Timor in which two UN peacekeepers have died.
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