Subject: The Australian: Controversial E Timor General Wins Indon Army Job

Received from Joyo Indonesian News

The Australian February 18, 2002

E Timor general wins army job

By Don Greenlees, Jakarta correspondent

THE Indonesian armed forces has named as its official spokesman a senior army officer cited in a UN report for human rights abuses in East Timor.

In a reshuffle of 118 senior officers, armed forces commander Admiral Widodo Adisucipto surprised human rights groups and many military analysts by appointing Major-General Syafrie Syamsuddin to the high-profile spokesman's job.

Human rights activists say General Syamsuddin, a former Kopassus special forces member, bares responsibility for human rights offences by troops under his command.

He was Jakarta's military commander at the time of the May 1998 riots that brought down former president Suharto. Those riots were preceded by the fatal shooting by security forces of four students from the affluent Triskati University.

General Syamsuddin was also listed among 23 Indonesian officers in a report for the UN on human rights abuses in East Timor by former Australian diplomat James Dunn. He concluded there were grounds to consider prosecution of General Syamsuddin over the premeditated 1999 scorched-earth campaign in East Timor.

Indonesia's National Human Rights Commission is facing stiff opposition from the armed forces over a more thorough investigation into the Trisakti killings.

The following biodata is taken from a document prepared by James Dunn for UNTAET.

Major General Sjafrie Sjamsuddin

Background: Born: 1952, Ujung Pandang, South Sulawesi

73 Commander of the Cadet corps at Akabri (Armed forces academy)

74 Class 5, Military Academy (Akmil)

75-77 Battalion Commander, Group I Kopassandha (forerunner of Kopassus) Took part as a volunteer in Operasi Flamboyan, under Yunus Yosfiah, and in Operasi Seroja (codename for the invasion) in East Timor in 1975. Commander, Second Company, Group I, Special Forces. Reported to have participated in Operasi Nanggala X.

78-? Commander, Executive Unit, Presidential Escort.

80-81 Intelligence Officer, Group I, Kopassus.

82-85 Deputy Commander, Battle Detachment 13, Group I, Special Forces, involved in Operasi Chandra XV in Timor in 1984.

85 Infantry Officers Advanced Course, Fort Benning USA

86-89 Deputy Commander, First Battalion, Group I Kopassus. Part of Maleo Team, with Agum Gumelar, in 87.

91-93 Deputy Assistant for Operations, Kopassus.

93 Brief training course at Swanbourne SAS base, Perth, Australia.

93-95 Commander, Group A, Presidential Security Guard.

96-97 Chief of Staff, Kodam Jaya (Greater Jakarta).

97-98 Commander, Kodam Jaya

99 Member of the MPR, ABRI faction. Also Expert Staff, Defence and Security Affairs, Commander of ABRI Staff.

99 Assigned to East Timor (under Zacky Anwar) at time of the plebiscite.

99-00 Expert Staff, Coordinating Minister for Politics and Security (under General Wiranto).

Comments: Leading Kopassus officer. Fought in Operasi Bravo alongside Prabowo in East Timor. As head of SGI (Kopassus Interrogation Centres) in East Timor in 1991 is said to have had an involvement in the Santa Cruz massacre. Reported to have designed counter intelligence operations in East Timor during his tour. Is reported by intelligence analysts to have prepared the plans for TNI and militia operations, there playing a key role in efforts to prevent loss of East Timor. According to an ANU strategic affairs analyst, Sjamsuddin prepared the plans for TNI and militia operations in East Timor at ABRI Headquarters. He was sent to East Timor shortly before the plebiscite where, according to another report, he helped conduct the militia campaign. One of those recommended by KPP HAM inquiry for investigation.

Assessment: Further investigations should show that this officer is implicated as one of the key military officers responsible for the development of the TNI strategy that led to serious crimes against humanity in East Timor.

Back to February menu

World Leaders Contact List
Human Rights Violations in East Timor
Main Postings Menu

Note: For those who would like to fax "the powers that be" - CallCenter is a Native 32-bit Voice Telephony software application integrated with fax and data communications... and it's free of charge! Download from