Subject: US Congress Holds Back Indonesia Military Aid

Indonesia Military Aid Held Back


WASHINGTON, May 24 (AP) - Congress is moving toward sending money to Indonesia to help train its police but has yet to warm up to the White House's call for increased relations with the country's military forces.

The House on Friday agreed to provide $8 million to help train Indonesia's police forces in anti-terrorism as part of the $29 billion anti-terrorism bill.

The Senate Appropriations Committee earlier had agreed to send money to Indonesia's police, saying the United States ``recognizes that Indonesia is a potential terrorist haven.''

The Senate earmarked $4 million for general law enforcement training and $12 million ``to train and equip an Indonesia police unit to prevent or respond to international terrorism.''

The Senate money does come with strings attached. Assistance is prohibited to mobile brigade units, which the report accompanying the bill says ``have a long history of human rights abuses.''

The House and the Senate committee also specifically refused to provide any money that would have gone to the country's military forces.

The State Department had asked for $8 million to train and equip a military force to control problems within Indonesia that police are unable to control.

But the Indonesian military has been accused of corruption and human rights abuses, especially for its role in trying to suppress the independence drive in East Timor in 1999.

The United States cut ties with the Indonesian military following the East Timor violence and has said that reforms - including accounting for the violence - are necessary to resume normal relations.

However, the Bush administration - spearheaded by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, a former ambassador to Jakarta - has been pushing to re-establish relations with the Indonesian military to fight terrorism.

The administration has been ``interested in finding ways to work with the Congress to re-establish the kind of military-to-military relations which we believe are appropriate,'' Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said May 14. He did not elaborate on what those might be.

``We are of the view that it's time for them to be adjusted substantially,'' he said.

The law halting aid - called the Leahy Amendment for Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who sponsored it - requires that Indonesia cooperate with investigations and prosecutions of members of the armed forces responsible for human rights abuses.

``If we provide this aid it should be narrowly focused and closely monitored, and it should reinforce our other foreign policy goals, including respect for human rights,'' said Leahy, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee's foreign operations subcommittee.

Human rights groups say the conditions have not been met.


From: Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 16:15:36 EDT Subject: Indonesian Navy to Start Military Training with US Marines To: X-Mailer: AOL 5.0 for Windows sub 124

TEMPO Interactive May 24, 2002

Indonesian Navy to Start Military Training with US Marines

Surabaya, East Java:Joint-military training between Indonesian and US Navy, under code of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 8/02, will begin next Monday (27/05) and will be officially opened by the Indonesian Navy chief at Ujung harbor in Surabaya, East Java.

Four US warships, USS Vincennes (CG-49), USS Anchorage (LSD-36), USS George H Philip (FFG-12) and USS Morgenthau (WHEC-722), bringing some 1,400 US marines and lifeguards and also logistic equipments, will dock at the Ujung harbor on Monday afternoon (27/05).

"This is a routine training that is carried out every year by US military and its partners in Asia Pacific," CARAT Task Force for Pacific regions spokesman Capt. Leslie Hull Ryde, told reporters at the home of US Consulate-General Robert A. Pollard in Surabaya on Friday (24//05).

According to Ryde, the military training will take place in Surabaya and the Asembagus area of Situbondo, East Java, from May 27 to June 2.

However, the US troops plan to remain in Surabaya until June 31.

Ryde said that the holding of the CARAT is to carry out humanitarian purposes, that is overcoming the effect of the natural disasters that have occurred in the East Java province.

"So, this training is focused on providing humanitarian aid and giving support to the victims of the natural disaster," he said.

The CARAT program has been carried out twice by the Indonesian and US navies.

"This current program comes is the third," Ryde said.

Quoting the statement of CARAT Task Force chief Capt. Robert Riche, Ryde said that the US is very proud to cooperate with the Indonesian military.

"The annual CARAT training is reputable in establishing an understanding and sharing of techniques and professional skills. Such techniques and skills are very important in order to give an efficient and immediate responses should a natural disaster takes place and requires a military cooperation in settling the matter," he said.

In the current training, the US military brought various medical equipments like medicine and vitamins.

The US military have also brought professional divers and doctors.

"We will provide free cataract operation for 1,500 people and distribute 3,000 pairs of glasses," said Ryde.

(Adi Mawardi-Tempo News room)

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