Subject: AFP: Militia documents show military in their ranks

etpMilitia documents show military in their ranks

DILI, East Timor, Sept 27 (AFP) - Documents found at an abandoned Aitarak militia post in the East Timorese capital name four men from a local Indonesian military base as members of the group.

AFP found the papers at Aitarak's recently abandoned post in Comoro, just outside Dili's airport,

Among the records is a log book which further reflects the paramilitary makeup of the militia and their links with the Indonesian armed forces.

The log and other documents show a consistent effort by the militias to monitor activities of the pro-independence National Council of Timorese Resistance (CNRT).

Dated from July 20, 1999 until September 11, the logs are written in the Indonesian language rather than the East Timorese Tetum.

The militias and their spokesman, the Forum for Unity, Democracy and Justice, repeatedly claimed the militias were an East Timorese group independent of the Indonesian military.

One sheet of paper headed "List of daily absentees" records the names of 20 militia members, their addresses, and whether or not they were present for the morning and evening roll call on July 12.

Four members, Joao Soares, Venancia Bareto, Januario Gonsalves and Mateus Suares, are listed with an address at Koramil, the Indonesian subdistrict military command.

Separately from these attendance sheets, the logs are contained in a ledger book for "Company B, Platoon 3, Comoro."

Like a high school year book, the inside cover of the ledger is signed by many people. There are sketches of hand guns, and a drawing of a soldier wearing a beret.

The competent artist also sketched a military knife, with the words "Blood Red" beneath it.

The dated and lined logs are short notes about information the militias received, some of it by two-way radio communication.

One entry dated August 3 says a Mr. Agus is looking for another person in connection with important information.

"Mr. Agus is from Korem 164 with his friend Sabino da Costa," says the note recorded at 9:01 am.

Korem 164 was an Indonesian military headquarters.

On September 7, an entry notes: "A report from a member of Abri (the old name for the Indonesian armed forces) says that the minibus has been captured by a member of Korem Dili."

Another entry points to coordination between militias in different cities.

"There is another report from ... (the town of) Viqueque," it says refering to a super Kijang van with a specific color and licence plate number.

"If a (militia) post finds this plate, the vehicle must be captured ... take it into custody."

Similar instructions were recorded in another entry dated September 4. It said a person of Chinese origin from Kupang was arriving in Dili to donate a large sum of money to the pro-independence cause.

"They will return to Kupang via the sea road on August 27," the log said, noting the type of car and the plate number. There was no explanation for the different dates.

"Photo enclosed." it said.

The Aitarak (thorn) militia, many of whom are now in West Timor, are suspected in the deaths of numerous unarmed civiilians in the Dili area. Their prime targets were those suspected of supporting the independence cause.

In the log, several entries make reference to the CNRT, their plans for demonstrations, and sightings of the CNRT flag.

Among the papers lying on the floor at the Comoro Post was a two page hand-written list of 24 names headed "National Council of Timorese Resistance."

Many included only the first name, and had the name of a village beside them.

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