/** reg.easttimor: 2667.0 **/
** Topic: SMH: Jakarta's bloody hands: military back killings **
** Written 12:07 PM Sep 5, 1999 by Joyo@aol.com in cdp:reg.easttimor **
Subject: SMH: Jakarta's bloody hands: military back killings

Sydney Morning Herald Monday, September 6, 1999

Jakarta's bloody hands: military back killings


The Indonesian military - presented to the world as providing security while East Timor prepares for independence - is in fact orchestrating the brutal campaign of killings and intimidation, according to secret United Nations assessments.

The documents show that in the past week the 14,000 soldiers serving under officers hand-picked by the Defence Minister, General Wiranto, have condoned and in some cases directed attacks by pro-Jakarta militia.

And during many assaults the military has ordered the 8,000-strong Indonesian police contingent in East Timor to remain passive - with open threats to them or their families if they intervene.

The revelations come as pro-Jakarta militias stepped up their attacks following Saturday's announcement that 78.5 per cent of voters in last Monday's ballot had chosen independence over autonomy with Indonesia.

Up to 25 deaths have been reported in Dili and there are unconfirmed reports of 20 people massacred in a church in Maliana.

As the situation deteriorated, the Australian Defence Force increased its readiness for a possible evacuation with the frigates HMAS Darwin and HMAS Anzac joining the navy's high-speed catamaran in Darwin at the weekend.

There are also two United States warships in the port from the joint exercise with Australian forces, Operation Crocodile.

At the same time Australia is pressing for a "coalition of the willing", comprising Australia and a few other countries, to quickly provide a basic international security force to protect Australians and other UN personnel in East Timor.

The Prime Minister raised the proposal with Indonesia's President Habibie on Friday but Mr Howard said yesterday that foreign troops would not be sent in without Indonesian and UN Security Council approval.

One of the leaked UN documents relates to the wounding on Friday of a US policeman working with the UN team which was condemned yesterday by President Clinton.

The American had been set upon by militia thugs at the instigation of the military and local police who tried to intervene were told to stand back, it said. He was recovering from gunshot wounds in Darwin yesterday.

In another attack, militia were ordered by a group of Indonesian officers to shoot at trucks carrying UN staff and journalists.

The leaked documents prepared by the United Nations mission to East Timor (UNAMET) conclude that there had been "a deliberate strategy to force UNAMET to withdraw from certain regions back to Dili".

They found that in some cases during the past few days there have been "joint operations" including the burning of houses and attacks on civilians as well as UN personnel, including UN civilian police (Civpol).

"Civpol strongly believe this series of incidents was orchestrated by TNI and Polri [Indonesian police] and that the militias acted with precise instructions as to their targets and the types of actions to conduct," one report says.

In the western towns of Aileu, Ainaro, Maliana, Liquica and Same there are specific accounts of abuses, including a threat to burn down a UN compound by a militia leader who said he was acting on instructions from the local major.

In Liquica, Indonesian police and military personnel were not only assisting the militias in an attack "but also shooting themselves at UN vehicles and their passengers".

** End of text from cdp:reg.easttimor **