also - Rights Groups Condemn End Run on Military
Training Restrictions for Indonesia
East Timor Action Network/U.S.
Congress Bolsters Ban on Training for Indonesia With One Bill, While Opening a Loophole with Another
For Immediate Release
Contact: John M. Miller,
718-5967668; mobile: 917-690-4391
December 21, 2001 -- This week Congress strengthened conditions on resumption of military training in one bill, even as it opened a loophole to allow training under another. While the Indonesia Human Rights Network (IHRN) and the East Timor Action Network (ETAN) applauded one Congressional action, they vowed to strenuously oppose the inclusion of the Indonesia military under a new program.
The Foreign Operations Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2002 (HR 2506), passed by both houses of Congress this week, maintains the ban on International Military Education and Training (IMET) and Foreign Military Financing programs for Indonesia. Indonesia must meet newly strengthened conditions on human rights, access to conflict areas, and release of political detainees before this assistance can be resumed.
However, a last minute change in the Defense Department Appropriations Act (HR 3338) allows U.S. training of Indonesian military officers. Restrictions in the foreign operations bill will not apply to this training. Congress finished work on both bills on Thursday.
“Justice, peace and democracy will never flourish in Indonesia as long as its military remains unaccountable,” said Kurt Biddle, Washington Coordinator of IHRN. “The foreign operations bill supports the Indonesian people who continue to be subject to intimidation, torture and murder by a military that is supposed to protect them from outside enemies. Unfortunately, the defense bill could undermine that support.”
Congress first voted to restrict IMET for Indonesia, which brings foreign military officers to the U.S. for training, in response to the November 12, 1991 Santa Cruz massacre in East Timor. All military ties were severed in September 1999 as the Indonesian military and its militia proxies razed East Timor following its pro-independence vote. The original conditions codified into law in late 1999 include the safe return of East Timorese refugees, prosecution of those responsible for atrocities in East Timor and Indonesia, and security for East Timor from military and militia activity. None of these conditions have been met.
“The 2002 Act rightfully recognizes the impunity enjoyed by Indonesian security forces for crimes against humanity committed in East Timor in 1999 and the continued control of tens of thousands of East Timorese refugees by militia leaders living freely in Indonesian West Timor,” said Karen Orenstein, Washington Coordinator of ETAN.
“The Pentagon’s latest move to gut the ban on Indonesian military training amounts to deliberate backsliding on human rights protections for the people of Indonesia and East Timor,” she added.
New conditions in the foreign operations bill include the release of all political detainees, open access to conflict regions, and reporting to civilian authorities audits of the military’s receipts and expenditures. The International Crisis Group estimates that as little as 30% of the Indonesian military’s operating budget is provided by Jakarta. The majority of the military’s budget is raised through their own businesses, both legal and illegal.
The defense bill establishes a Regional Defense Counter-terrorism Fellowship Program. Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) added the program to the bill at the behest of Admiral Dennis C. Blair, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command. What will be taught remains undefined.
The East Timor Action Network/U.S. (ETAN) advocates for democracy, sustainable development, justice and human rights, including women's rights, for the people of East Timor. ETAN calls for an international tribunal to prosecute crimes against humanity that took place in East Timor since 1975.
The Indonesia Human Rights Network (IHRN) is a U.S.-based grassroots organization working to influence U.S. foreign policy and international economic interests to support democracy, demilitarization, and justice through accountability and rule of law in Indonesia. IHRN seeks to end armed forces repression in Indonesia by exposing it to international scrutiny. IHRN works with and advocates on behalf of people throughout the Indonesian archipelago to strengthen civil society.
From Foreign Operations Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2002 (HR 2506)
(a) Funds appropriated by this Act under the headings ``International Military Education and Training'' and ``Foreign Military Financing Program'' may be made available for assistance for Indonesian military personnel only if the President determines and submits a report to the appropriate congressional committees that the Government of Indonesia and the Indonesian Armed Forces are--
see also Rights Groups Denounce Boost In US-Indonesia Military Ties
Other East Timor and Indonesia Provisions in Foreign Operations Bill
CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 2506, FOREIGN OPERATIONS, EXPORT FINANCING, AND RELATED PROGRAMS APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2002
Other Bilateral Economic Assistance economic support fund That of the funds appropriated under this heading, $50,000,000 should be made available for assistance for Indonesia:
Provided further, That of the funds appropriated under this heading, not less than $25,000,000 shall be made available for assistance for East Timor of which up to $1,000,000 may be transferred to and merged with the appropriation for Operating Expenses of the United States Agency for International Development:
TITLE III--MILITARY ASSISTANCE Funds Appropriated to the President international military education and training
For necessary expenses to carry out the provisions of section 541 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, $70,000,000, of which up to $3,000,000 may remain available until expended: Provided, That the civilian personnel for whom military education and training may be provided under this heading may include civilians who are not members of a government whose participation would contribute to improved civil-military relations, civilian control of the military, or respect for human rights: Provided further, That funds appropriated under this heading for military education and training for Indonesia and Guatemala may only be available for expanded international military education and training and funds made available for Algeria, Indonesia and Guatemala may only be provided through the regular notification procedures of the Committees on Appropriations.
BASIC EDUCATION ASSISTANCE FOR INDONESIA AND PAKISTAN
Sec. 579. (a) Of the funds made available under the heading ``Development Assistance'' for basic education, $8,000,000 shall be made available to Indonesia and Pakistan
(c) Not more than 60 days after the enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development shall report to the House Committees on Appropriations and International Relations and the Senate Committees on Appropriations and Foreign Relations on the Agency's proposed allocation of basic education funding for Indonesia and Pakistan, including in-country monitoring of budget support for basic education provided under Public Law 107-38.
United States Agency for International Development
Child Survival and Health Programs Fund
As the managers are concerned about logging, poaching and other development harmful to the environment in regions where population pressures threaten biodiversity and endangered species, such as Indonesia, Central Africa, and parts of Latin America, the conference agreement includes Senate language that urges USAID to undertake and implement reproductive health/family planning programs in these regions.
Other Bilateral Economic Assistance
Economic Support Fund
The conference agreement includes language that provides that $50,000,000 of the funds appropriated under this heading should be provided for Indonesia. The Senate amendment contained language that provided that $135,000,000 should be provided for Indonesia from ``Economic Support Fund'', as well as from ``Development Assistance'' and ``Child Survival and Health Programs Fund''. The House bill did not address this matter.
The conference agreement also includes language that provides that not less than $25,000,000 shall be made available for East Timor, including up to $1,000,000 which may be transferred to and merged with Operating Expenses of the United States Agency for International Development. The House bill did not address this matter.
The conference agreement does not include Senate language providing that not less than $10,000,000 from various accounts should be made available for humanitarian, economic rehabilitation and reconstruction, political reconciliation and related activities in Aceh, Papua, West Timor and Malukus. However, the managers direct USAID to urgently pursue opportunities to provide such assistance to address urgent needs in these impoverished and politically volatile regions. Funds made available for these purposes may be made available to and managed by the Office of Transition Initiatives. The managers remain concerned with the political situation in Indonesia, and encourage the Government to continue to implement needed political, legal, economic, and military reforms. While the managers appreciate the complex situation within Indonesia, they find criticism by President Megawati Sukarnoputri of American-led efforts to counter international terrorism to be dismaying.
Sec. 572. Indonesia The conference agreement provision regarding military assistance to Indonesia is similar to current law, except that it allows for civilian officials to participate in Expanded IMET activities. The House bill and the Senate amendment both included 4 prior year provisions under which a Presidential report and determination could result in a resumption of military assistance to Indonesia that is funded in this bill. The revised language includes new subsections relating to civilian control of the armed forces and the release of political detainees and it expands the geographical scope of the retained subsections beyond Timor island to other parts of Indonesia. While the conference agreement does not include a specific reference to the murders of American citizen Carlos Caceres and two other United Nations humanitarian workers in West Timor on September 6, 2000, the managers insist that any determination that effective measures are being taken to investigate and bring to justice militia groups involved in human rights violations would accord special consideration to the just punishment for the killers of the United Nations humanitarian workers in West Timor.
Sec. 579. Basic Education Assistance for Indonesia and Pakistan The conference agreement includes language that provides not less than $8,000,000 from Development Assistance for basic education activities in Indonesia and Pakistan. The managers expect that $3,000,000 will be provided for Indonesia and $5,000,000 for Pakistan. House and Senate language did not refer to Indonesia.
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