Subject: Indon military ordered to shoot refugees who refuse to surrender arms

BBC Monitoring of World News March 6, 2001

Source: Excerpt from report by Indonesian newspaper Kupang Pos web site on 5 March

Military ordered to shoot refugees who refuse to surrender arms

Kupang: Commander of the 9 Udayana Military Area Command, Maj-Gen Willem da Costa, has ordered all security personnel to shoot to kill any armed refugees who oppose them.

This stern order was given after meeting NTT [East Nusa Tenggara] Governor Piet A. Tallo and Deputy Governor Johanes Pake Pani at the governor's office on Friday (2 March) to discuss the repatriation of former TNI [Indonesian National Military Forces] East Timorese refugees to their homeland.

"According to the deputy governor, there was a group of armed refugees causing trouble. I have already requested the assistance of my colleagues from the police force and TNI and have given the command to shoot to kill if there is any resistance," said the commander.

The commander's statement stemmed from violence which occurred around the Oebobo Kupang bus terminal on Friday (2 March). A group of people suspected of being East Timorese refugees arrived in the area causing havoc and searching for someone who they claimed attacked their friend. This caused panic amongst the locals as the group was carrying machetes and other sharp weapons.

According to the commander, he has repeatedly called on refugees and locals to surrender any weapons in their possession to security personnel. "Firearms can only be used by those legally able to carry them. If there are members of the community with any weapons there needs to be stern action taken," he said...

The commander has also made a plea to the community not to be provoked by groups such as the one at the bus terminal.

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