Subject: Wiranto, 21 Others To Be Arrested by Interpol If They Leave Indonesia
Date: Sat, 02 Oct 1999 08:11:51 -0400

The Age [Melbourne] Sunday, September 26, 1999

Genocide charges taking shape


A European human rights group has announced that it will bring charges of genocide against the commander-in-chief of the Indonesian army, General Wiranto, and 21 other officers and militia leaders.

The European Council of Humanitarian Action and Cooperation said it expected Interpol to issue arrest warrants as soon as the charges relating to the planned extermination of 12,000 people were presented in court in Portugal next month.

``That would mean that the moment Wiranto or any of the others stepped foot outside of Indonesia, they would be arrested,'' said the organisation's president, Mr David Balsa.

In Geneva, signs of a potential compromise in the special session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights emerged late yesterday when the EU modified its resolution to include Asian experts on an international panel.

The new EU draft, to be debated on Monday, calls on the UN chief, Mr Kofi Annan, to establish an international inquiry with adequate representation of Asian experts. They would cooperate with the Indonesian national commission on human rights and UN investigators to compile information on possible violations of human rights.

Finland's envoy, Mr Pekka Huhtaniemi, whose country holds the EU presidency, told the commission: ``It is evident that many colleagues now feel they need some time to reflect on this new version.'' Ms Anne Anderson, Ireland's ambassador to the UN in Geneva and who chairs the commission, said: ``It is much more important in this matter that we get it right than we get it quickly.''

The original EU resolution had been strongly endorsed by the US, Norway and Switzerland. Australia and New Zealand, which have only observer status at the commission, also spoke in favor of the proposal.

Mr Les Luck, Australia's delegate, insisted that Australia had acknowledged the many positive developments in Indonesia's human rights situation in recent times.

Regrettably, he said, Australia also had to make clear its dismay and concern at the collapse of order, and the violence that followed the vote of East Timor for independence.

New Zealand's Mr Roger Farrell said there had been a deliberate attempt to ``sabotage and undermine'' the UN's process in Timor, ``a process to which the Indonesian Government had agreed and in support of which it had pledged to provide peace and security''.

But Indonesia's Asian neighbors, along with Latin American and African nations, are anxious to minimise Indonesia's humiliation and avoid further destabilising of the region.

A diplomatic source told Reuters: ``The vote could be close. Latin American countries will have the swing vote but they have been unenthusiastic. Some delegations could hide behind abstentions.''

UN watchers suggested that a chairman's statement negotiated with Indonesia, a milder form of rebuke than a resolution, could also still emerge.

Under such a deal, international rights experts could be asked to take part in Indonesia's own commission of inquiry, they added.


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