CGI DONORS MUST LINK PLEDGED FUNDS TO IMPROVEMENTS IN WEST TIMOR
ETAN Calls on Indonesia to Meet Critical Human Rights Conditions
before Donors Release Funds
For Immediate Release
October 18, 2000
Contact: Karen Orenstein, 202-544-6911
John M. Miller, 718-596-7668
The East Timor Action Network/U.S. (ETAN) today called on members of
the Consultative Group on Indonesia (CGI) to postpone disbursement of
pledged funds for Indonesia until Jakarta meets several critical
conditions pertaining to West and East Timor. The CGI, comprised of the
major bilateral and multilateral providers of economic assistance to
Indonesia, concluded its donor conference today in Tokyo.
“Given the Indonesian government's shameful unwillingness or
inability to control militias who continue to terrorize East Timorese
refugees in West Timor, the CGI meeting should have been delayed. Now that
it has concluded, it is crucial for Indonesia to be held to strict
conditions before receiving pledged funds," said Karen Orenstein,
Washington Organizer for ETAN.
"These conditions must include the verified disarmament and
disbanding of militia groups in West Timor and the arrest of militia
leaders. Indonesia must also guarantee international and local
humanitarian aid workers in West Timor safe and unimpeded access to the
refugees.,” added Orenstein. "An internationally-supervised
registration of the refugees should be well underway, so that they can
choose without fear or intimidation whether to return to East Timor or
settle in Indonesia."
“The U.S. administration must maintain heightened pressure on
Indonesia to comply with their promised disarmament campaign rather than
trust the latest assurances by senior Indonesian officials. The most
effective way to ensure compliance is to put conditions on disbursement of
donor funds,” stated ETAN's John M. Miller.
Despite repeated promises, the government of Indonesia has failed to
disarm and disband Indonesian military-supported militias still
controlling refugee camps in West Timor, where more than 100,000 East
Timorese have been confined for over a year with little food or medical
care. UN Special Representative of the Secretary General to East Timor
Sergio Vieira de Mello called Indonesia's follow-through on disarming
militias following the September 6 murder of three UNHCR workers
"Indonesia's recent decision to abandon any timetable for
disarming the militias, announced while the CGI met, proves once again the
refusal of Indonesian security forces to heed the concerns expressed by
the U.S. and international financial institutions. Donors now need to back
up their strong words with action," said Miller.
Prior to the CGI meeting, the U.S. and the World Bank had said aid
could be jeopardized if Indonesia failed to curtail in militias, but those
threats were not acted upon, despite Indonesian procrastination and
Members of the CGI include the World Bank, International Monetary Fund,
Asian Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and bilateral donors
including the United States, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Germany, France,
Spain, Italy, New Zealand, Denmark and Australia. $5.3 billion was pledged
at this year's meeting.
After the murder of international aid workers in early September,
nearly all international presence withdrew, and the militias cemented
their dominant position in the camps. Almost no refugees are returning to
East Timor, medical and food supplies are reported to be running
dangerously low, and the rainy season is about to begin.
The East Timor Action Network/U.S. was founded in November 1991 to
support East Timorese self-determination. ETAN supports human rights in
Indonesia and works for a peaceful transition to independence in East
Timor. It has 27 local chapters throughout the U.S.
For additional background, see http://www.etan.org.
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other statements on the CGI