|Subject: AP: Human rights groups blast Rice
for defending military ties with Indonesia
Also: RI Expert Team To Check Impounded Mily Hardware's Conditions
Associated Press Worldstream
March 15, 2006 Wednesday 9:17 AM GMT
Human rights groups blast Rice for defending military ties with Indonesia
Human rights groups criticized U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday for restoring full military ties with Indonesia, saying the army remains a threat to the country's young democracy.
"The (Indonesian armed forces) remains a largely rogue institution which commits human rights violations without concern for the law," said a statement issued jointly in Washington D.C. by four nongovernmental groups.
The military was the main pillar of the 32-year dictatorship of former strongman Suharto, who was ousted amid massive pro-democracy street protests in 1998.
The United States cut all military ties with Indonesia the next year after the army and its militia proxies devastated East Timor during its break from Jakarta.
Last November, however, Rice waived all restrictions on military assistance, citing cooperation by the world's largest majority Muslim nation in the war on terror.
Washington said that continuing to isolate the Indonesian military was no longer in its strategic interest.
"The administration's abandonment of congressionally imposed restrictions ... rewards and encourages continued human rights violations, impunity, and corruption, thus undermining Indonesian democracy," the statement said.
[Note statement is at http://etan.org/news/2006/03hill.htm]
March 13, 2006 Monday
RI Expert Team To Check Impounded Mily Hardware's Conditions
Jakarta Mar 13
The Indonesian government will send an expert team to a number countries to examine the conditions of military hardware components ordered from the US in the past but impounded in those countries following the impositin of a US arms embargo in 1999, a spokesman said here Monday.
The US government lifted the embargo in November last year and Indonesia now wants its pre-embargo orders realized.
"We are still waiting for the completion of administrative procedures, mainly the re-issuance by the US of the pertinent export license to a few other countries to enable them to deliver the formerly impounded hardwre," Director General for Defense Planning at the Defence Ministry , Rear Admiral Yuwendi, said.
The ministry and the Indonesian Military have held some meetings with the Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) at the US Embassy in Jakarta to discuss the settlement of administrative procedures needed to enable the delivery of F-5 and F-16 fighter aircraft spare parts and components blocked in a few countries because of the US embargo, he said.
The US revoked its embargo following a meeting between President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in South Korea last year.
The United States government cut off sales and military assistance to Jakarta including logistic support and training after Indonesian soldiers and police backed violence during the East Timor's 1999 vote for independence.
"After the US confirms the export licenses, an expert team consisting of officials from the ministry of defense, Indonesian Military Headquarters and the Air Force will be sent to check the conditions of the components," he said.
The important thing was that all the military merchandise was sent to Indonesia for further checking, he said.
Commander of the Indonesian Military, Air Marshal Djoko Suyanto called the United States to send these components soon following the lifting of its embargo.
Among the export credit delayed due to the embargo were porgrams to upgrade F-5 fighter aircraft in Belgium, the United States, Sweden and Britain; spare parts for Hawk 200 jet fighters in Britain; maintenance and procurement of A-4 Sky Hawks in New Zealand and F-5 repair in the US.
Meanwhile, among the embargoed contracts were eight on maintenance programs for F-5 components in South Korea and Brazil and four maintenance of F-16 components in South Korea.
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