site menu spacer East Timor Paramilitary Accountability Resolution
(Introduced in the House)

HCON 97 IH 106th CONGRESS

1st Session H. CON. RES. 97

Urging the prohibition on military assistance and arms transfers to the Government of Indonesia until the President certifies that the government of Indonesia is no longer arming, financing, or upporting paramilitary units in East Timor and has taken certain other actions relating to East Timor, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 5, 1999

Mr. KENNEDY of Rhode Island (for himself, Mrs. LOWEY, Mr. LANTOS, Ms. MCKINNEY, Mr. EVANS, and Mr. HALL of Ohio) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on International Relations

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

Urging the prohibition on military assistance and arms transfers to the Government of Indonesia until the President certifies that the Government of Indonesia is no longer arming, financing, or supporting paramilitary units in East Timor and has taken certain other actions relating to East Timor, and for other purposes.

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring),

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This concurrent resolution may be cited as the `East Timor Paramilitary Accountability Resolution'.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

The Congress finds the following:

(1)(A) Paramilitary violence in East Timor has escalated significantly beginning in November 1998.

(B) Since then, some 10,000 civilians have fled from the countryside to seek refuge in churches, schools and private homes.

(C) Incidents of rape, beatings, torture and disappearance have been reported frequently.

(2) Indonesia invaded East Timor on December 7, 1975, and has illegally occupied that nation for more than 23 years.

(3) The Indonesian occupation has claimed the lives of over 200,000 East Timorese--fully a third of the population--in massacres, by torture, and through forced starvation.

(4) The Indonesian military (ABRI) and elite units like the Kopassus special forces have carried out a systematic reign of terror in East Timor, numbering over 21,000 troops according to ABRI documents from September 1998.

(5) East Timorese Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo and diplomat Jose Ramos-Horta were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996 for their acts of courage on behalf of their people.

(6)(A) On May 21, 1998, 33 years after he seized power in a bloody coup, Indonesian dictator Suharto was forced to resign in the wake of mass pro-democracy protests and a severe economic crisis.

(B) His handpicked successor, B.J. Habibie, assumed the presidency.

(7) In June 1998, Indonesian President Habibie, in a striking change of policy, introduced a plan for autonomy for East Timor, but excluded East Timorese control over the military, foreign policy and currency, and a referendum on self-determination.

(8)(A) In July 1998, the United States Senate unanimously adopted a resolution supporting East Timor's right to a referendum on self-determination.

(B) In October 1998, the United States Congress went on record as supporting self-determination for East Timor in a provision included in the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999.

(9) On January 27, 1999, Indonesian President Habibie offered that Indonesia would consider Indonesian withdrawal from East Timor as a `second option' for East Timor if the majority of its people were to reject his autonomy plan.

(10) In February 1999, jailed East Timorese resistance leader Xanana Gusmao was moved from prison to house arrest.

(11)(A) Also in February 1999, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met with Gusmao, as well as Indonesian officials, during a visit to Jakarta.

(B) Afterward she praised Gusmao's character, and expressed United States support for several of the steps necessary for a peaceful transition in East Timor including an international monitoring presence and the disarming of Indonesian-backed paramilitary units as soon as possible.

(12)(A) The United Nations, under Secretary General Kofi Annan, has sponsored a series of talks between Portugal and Indonesia on East Timor's political status.

(B) In February 1999 these talks yielded a tentative agreement to hold a United Nations-sponsored ballot in East Timor to determine East Timor's rejection or acceptance of an Indonesian autonomy plan.

(13)(A) On April 6, 1999, over 25 internally displaced persons were attacked and killed by machete-wielding members of the paramilitary unit Besi Merah Putih, while members of the Indonesian military (ABRI) assisted.

(B) The number injured is still unknown, but the Indonesian Government has apparently obstructed attempts to deliver international humanitarian assistance.

(14) The United States Congress has placed high hopes in the beginnings of a democratic process in Indonesia, especially the June 7, 1998, elections, and has issued support and funding to assist in that process.

(15) If parliamentary elections, widely perceived as completely illegitimate in East Timor, are allowed to proceed in the occupied territory, and if paramilitary units are not disbanded, violence in East Timor is likely to further destabilize the overall environment in Indonesia and diminish the likelihood of genuine democratic reform.

(16) Despite the April 21, 1999, signing of an agreement on a ceasefire by East Timorese resistance representatives, paramilitary leaders, and the Indonesian military (ABRI) commander in East Timor, paramilitary violence has not lessened.

(17) Another brutal attack was waged against civilians in the area of Suai on April 22, 1999, and more than 8 individuals were killed.

(18) On April 23, 1999, United Nations talks yielded a tentative agreement that is expected to be signed on May 5, 1999, in New York.

(19) Any such agreement must be followed with a free and fair vote, United Nations and other international monitors, and the disarming and disbanding of the paramilitary units.

SEC. 3. DECLARATION OF POLICY.

The Congress declares that the United States will no longer accept, condone, finance, or supply the Indonesian military occupiers, nor their proxies, the paramilitary civilian militia units, in East Timor.

SEC. 4. SENSE OF THE CONGRESS RELATING TO VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN EAST TIMOR.

It is the sense of the Congress that the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense should take an active and visible role in urging the Government of Indonesia and the Indonesian military--

(1) to permit an international investigation of the massacre at Liquica; and

(2) to bring to justice those individuals responsible for gross violations of internationally recognized human rights in East Timor.

SEC. 5. SENSE OF THE CONGRESS RELATING TO PROHIBITION ON UNITED STATE DEPT. MILITARY ASSISTANCE AND ARMS TRANSFERS TO THE GOVERNMENT OF INDONESIA.

(a) PROHIBITION- It is the sense of the Congress that United States military assistance and arms transfers should not be provided to the Government of Indonesia unless the President certifies to the Congress that the Government of Indonesia--

(1) is no longer arming, financing, or supporting paramilitary units in East Timor, and ceases its own military attacks on civilians, separate from and together with these paramilitary units;

(2) has assisted in the successful disarming and disbanding of the paramilitary units in East Timor;

(3) allows free and open access to East Timor to a continuing United Nations presence, international human rights and relief and development organizations, and the press; and

(4) has reduced substantially the Indonesian military (ABRI) troop presence in East Timor, as the beginning of a United Nations-monitored withdrawal;

(b) UNITED STATES MILITARY ASSISTANCE AND ARMS TRANSFERS- In this section, the term `United States military assistance and arms transfers' means--

(1) assistance under chapter 2 of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (relating to military assistance), including the transfer of excess defense articles under section 516 of that Act;

(2) assistance under chapter 5 of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (relating to international military education and training or `IMET'), including military education and training for civilian personnel under section 541 of such Act (commonly referred to as `Expanded IMET'); or

(3) assistance under the `Foreign Military Financing' Program under section 23 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2763) and the transfer of defense articles, defense services, design and construction services, or any other defense-related training under that Act (22 U.S.C. 2751 et seq.).

 

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