|Subject: AU: Kopassus accused of Timor slaughter
Date: Sat, 29 May 1999 11:34:26 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Received from Joyo Indonesian News:
The Australian 24 May 99
Kopassus accused of Timor slaughter
By JOHN ZUBRZYCKI
DILI: A weekend attack by pro-integration militiamen supported by troops from Kopassus, Indonesia's special forces unit, killed at least 10 people in a village 120km south-west of the East Timorese capital Dili, an independent source reported yesterday.
The alleged murders came amid reports that militias were planning a campaign of mass terror and intimidation if the August 8 referendum produces a result in favour of independence from Indonesia.
The Indonesian military sealed off the village of Deudet, near the town of Ipili in Bobonaro district, the scene of Saturday's alleged massacre, making independent verification of the report impossible.
According to a usually well-informed source in Dili, a large number of Kopassus soldiers in civilian clothes had crossed the border between West and East Timor late last week and had made their way to Deudet to provide logistical back-up to members of the Halilintar (Scorpion) militia, who were reported to have carried out the attack.
Numerous reports that members of the elite Kopassus force have been infiltrating East Timor ahead of the August poll have been circulating in Dili in recent days.
Disturbing evidence has also emerged of the Indonesian military intelligence co-ordinating agency, Bakin, issuing instructions to pro-integrationist militia that supporters of independence be eliminated after the poll and detailing the level of support the militia can expect to receive from the military.
The statement, obtained by The Australian and which is apparently meant for distribution to militias in East Timor, was allegedly prepared on the basis of Bakin's instructions.
It stated the independence movement "should be eliminated from its leadership down to its roots" if voters reject autonomy within Indonesia.
"Massacres should be carried out from village to village soon after the announcement of the ballot if the pro-independence supporters win," the statement said.
It also said 1500 M-16 rifles as well as grenades, mines and communications equipment would be made available to the militia ahead of the poll and the air force would be prepared to give logistical support from its base in Kupang in West Timor.
It numbered the integrationist militias at 50,000 regulars, against the 20,000 usually cited by independent observers.
News of the Deudet attack and the renewed threats against supporters of independence came as the UN Assistance Mission in East Timor said it had received credible reports that pro-integrationist militia were preparing an attack on the town of Remexio, about 20km south-east of Dili.
UNAMET spokesman David Wimhurst said an advance warning of the attack had been given to the Indonesian police. "We expect they will act on the warning and ensure there is no violence," he said.
Mr Wimhurst also said the UN had not been told the referendum was to be brought forward by a day to August 7, to avoid the poll taking place on a Sunday in the largely Catholic former Portuguese colony.
Meanwhile, the first shipment of equipment for the UN force overseeing the referendum was due to arrive in Dili late yesterday. Some personnel for the UNAMET force were also due to arrive, bringing numbers up to 24, still well short of the estimated 500-600 expected to be in place by July.