Subject: New evidence of militia-TNI links revealed

Also AFP: Militia leader says Indonesian intelligence ordered nuns massacre

Indonesian Observer Dec 16, 1999

New evidence of militia-TNI links revealed

JAKARTA (IO) — The commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) yesterday in Jakarta revealed it’s new investigation results from East Timor, concerning the violence which was conducted before and after the UN sponsored plebiscite. The results show evidence that the militia were paid by local administrators and the military.

Speaking to a press conference here, the chairman of Kontras’ working body, Munir, summarised the findings of investigations in East Timor between late September and late October 1999. Munir said that the full reports will be given to KPP HAM as inputs to the effort of upholding the law.

These findings are evidence which proves the militia and military role in several incidence of violence before and after the UN sponsored plebiscite in East Timor. Their is also evidence of the links.

"We found letters which described the activities of the militia and military, left abandoned in many ‘concentration camps’ and at their training sites. What surprised us most was finding a bundle of books which contained the militia salary records. The printed documents were filed neatly by computer," he explained, and said that the records show that each militia member was paid as much as Rp. 150,000 per month.

According to Munir, it was very strange when someone (in this case the militiamen) was paid for fighting for his political beliefs.

He disclosed that from the testimony of witnesses, the militia salaries were paid from local bureaucrats and administrators, either civil or military.

He continued that Kontras also found some mass graveyards in different areas.

"These showed up from the landscape’s physical form, scatterings of flowers which littered the sites and information from local residents."

In respect of this evidence Munir said it needed more investigation because so far Kontras had not dug up graves to count the corpses.

Apart from that, Munir said that Kontras has learned that there was a long history of violence in East Timor from January to its peak from September 2nd to 10th.

"This process was closely related to the options which Habibie gave earlier this year," Munir said. He conveyed that this violent period hadn’t been evaluated properly by the military and "It was not corrected by the military."

Moreover, the martial law imposed in East Timor after the ballot was conducted had caused more havoc, arson and riots which displaced East Timor people as refugees to East Nusatenggara.

"The violations which took place in January, establishments of militia until March and the ensuing violence in several areas in East Timor had a systematic relationship and this peaked in the Suai massacre, which has been reported on by KPP HAM," he said.

This open violence has been publicly acknowledged. "Most of the people who lived in east Timor at that time were eyewitnesses. When Kontras questioned them over what happened on, for example, September 9, they can always answer consistently," Munir explained.

According to Munir, Kontras was convinced that the military operational pattern in that area had a strong connection with the violence which intimidated the local people there.

"There were political decisions from Jakarta which had systematic relationships with everything that happened in East Timor in those 9 months [January-September 1999]."

Responding to the TNI statement which said that what they did in East Timor in those months was to execute the country’s duty, and cursed anybody who questioned this as a nationalist, Munir said this was all wrong.

"We didn’t see the relationship between duty to the country and nationalism. Is that true if executing the country’s duty is by violence?" he asked enigmatically.

Munir also stressed that if they keep defending their argument that they were just doing their job in executing the country’s duty, they had to explain which orders they did execute, the violence within their responsibilities and their failure to prevent it.

Militia leader says Indonesian intelligence ordered nuns massacre

DILI, East Timor, Dec 14 (AFP) - A commander of one of East Timor's anti-independence militias has admitted he was behind one of the territory's most horrific massacres and claims he was acting on the orders of Indonesian special forces.

Joni Marques, commander of the Team Alpha militia in Los Palos town, told an Indonesian inquiry team he had been responsible for a September 25 ambush in which eight people -- two nuns, four male clergy, an Indonesian journalist and a teenage girl -- were killed.

The attack took place near Los Palos in a remote part of eastern East Timor shortly after international peacekeepers arrived in the capital, Dili.

"He clearly stated that he's the one that killed eight people in Los Palos and that he was trained by a Kopassus (special forces) unit and that he was ordered also to carry out killings by a number of Kopassus officers," Helmi Fauzi, a member of the inquiry team, told journalists here.

Fauzi is a member of the Indonesian Commission for the Investigation of Human Rights Abuses in East Timor.

Marques was interviewed at Dili jail, where he is awaiting trial.

The inquiry commissioners have spoken to some 30 witnesses over the last seven days in their second visit to East Timor.

After an earlier visit they concluded that the violence that erupted after East Timor's August 30 vote for independence had involved collusion between the militias, the Indonesian armed forces (TNI) and national police (Polri).

They said they obtained testimony and documents that showed high-ranking members of the Indonesian armed forces and national police were behind the militia.

The commission has now released more detailed allegations about Indonesian support for the militias.

"SGI, a notorious combat intelligence unit dominated by Kopassus members, was heavily involved to set up, arm and co-ordinate the militias in each of the regencies," said Nursyahbani Katjasungkana, another commission member.

But she said SGI was not acting alone. High-ranking military and police officers "actually commanded this operation," she said.

Nursyahbani said the military and police collected, dumped and buried bodies from massacres. They also cleaned the crime scenes to hide evidence, she said.

Military officers were seconded to militia units to co-ordinate operations, which also had close links to civilian authorites such as district heads, she said.

Many district heads were in fact leaders of the militias, Nursyahbani said.

The commission focussed on three massacres.

Leonard Simanjuntak, an assistant to the commission, said 50 to 100 people died in an attack on September 5-6 at the church in Suai town. Another 50 were murdered on April 5-6 at another church, in the town of Liquica, he said.

An attack on September 8 at the police station in Maliana left 30-40 people, Simanjuntak said.

Nursyahbani said the commission obtained documents that show TNI and Polri "planned and implemented the burning of East Timor, as well as forcefully displaced the population to West Timor."

She said lists have been found of pro-independence people targetted for death in what she termed "indications of genocide policy."

The Indonesian commission was set up following Jakarta's refusal to respect the results of a UN commission of inquiry into the post-ballot violence in East Timor.

The UN commission, which spent nine days in East Timor, is due to report back to Secretary General Kofi Annan by the end of this month.

On the basis of their report, Annan will then have to decide whether to recommend the creation of an international war crimes tribunal for East Timor.

Back to December 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 V3.5.8, is a Native 32-bit Voice Telephony software application integrated with fax and data communications... and it's free of charge! Download from