Subject: W. Timor commander orders military to shoot armed civilians

BBC Worldwide Monitoring August 3, 2001

Source: Kompas Cyber Media web site, Jakarta, in Indonesian 3 Aug 01

Indonesia: West Timor commander orders military to shoot armed civilians

Denpasar: If civilians refuse to surrender their weapons as ordered by security personnel, the military will not hesitate to shoot them. This statement was made by IX/Udayana Military Area Commander Maj-Gen Willem T da Costa on Thursday (2 August) in Denpasar.

Da Costa claimed he has already made requests to NTT East Nusa Tenggara Governor Piet Tallo to publicize warnings that no civilian in West Timor was permitted to have any standard or homemade weapons. "The people are also prohibited from carrying grenades. Initially we will ask nicely for the weapons but if there is any resistance we will shoot," he said.

In anticipation of possible violence leading up to East Timor's August elections, da Costa admits there has been no increase in troop deployment to the area. At the moment there are two battalions (726 and 131 Infantry Battalions) on the border in Atambua and a task force of 450 in Oecussi.

"The forthcoming election process is still underway and the nation has not been formed. We still need this number of troops to guard against the possibility that the elections will be disrupted. These disruptions could come from East Timor itself or from extremists on our side," he added. "We are on alert and have stepped up patrols along the 147 km border," said da Costa...

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