Subject: Chronology: the Attack of BMP Militia on the Humanitarian Mission
Date: Sat, 10 Jul 1999 16:58:20 -0400


Humanitarian Aid Mission to Sare and the Attack of BMP Militia on the Humanitarian Mission


With the rise of militia activity in a number of regencies in the last eight months has led to an increase in violence perpetrated against the general population. Many have become victims of killings, detention, rape, torture, looting, losing their homes and their entire possesions when their houses are burned by militia. Because of these violent acts conducted by the militia, and supported by TNI ( many TNI members have been seen posing as militia), many people are forced to leave their homes to seek a safety.

This humanitarian mission was a cooperation between local NGOs in Dili, including Posko for Emergency Aid to IDP's (Posko Dili), ETADEP, CARITAS, Timor Aid, Yayasan Kasimo, Biahula, and Volunteers for Humanity from Jakarta. The mission brought more than 25 tons of food, including rice, oil, sugar, salt, milk, as well as non-food items such as mats, plastic sheets, cooking utensils and secondhand clothing.

Because of the problem of security and lack of access, the local NGOs cooperated with UNHCR who agreed to discuss the mission with the Indonesian authorities. UNAMET and UNHCR came along with this NGO humanitarian mission to conduct their own independent assesment of the IDP situation.

Thursday, July 1 1999 Morning: UNHCR and UNAMET humanitarian officer met with representatives of Lorosae to discuss police escort for the humanitarian mission. The police agreed, and asked for a confirmation later on in the day. Evening: The police declined to provide an escort.

Friday, July 2 1999 Morning: UNHCR had an audience with the Governer to inform him of this mission. Noon: The humanitarian mission, which was 55 NGO workers, left for Sare.

Saturday, July 3 1999 In Sare, the humanitarian mission found 3800 internally displaced people (IDP's) from 7 villages of Maubara sub-district: Vatuboro, Guico, Lisadila, Fatuboo, Maubaralisa, Babeknia, and Guguleur. The IDP's, who ran from attacks in their villages since February 1999, were in very poor condition. Many of the IDP's suffered from disease and malnourishment, associated with poor living conditions. According to the IDP's, at least 70 people have died from disease since February, and 5 have been killed by militia. The latest killing occurred on April 18th, when an IDP by the name of Silvanu (35 years) was killed when he attempted to go back to his village to get cassava from his garden for his family. The IDP's are living in the homes of the local people, building makeshift shacks or sharing simple accommodation and meagre resources. From one village, we received a list of 23 names of women who have been raped by militia. During our drive to Sare, we passed the villages of Guico and Lisadila where every single house was burned to the ground. The extremely poor condition of the IDP's reflect the isolation, continued terror experienced by the IDP's, exacerbated by the lack of access of humanitarian aid to this area.

>From Etadep's base camp in Sare, the humanitarian mission was able to distribute 20 tons of rice to approximately 3800 IDP's and 1000 local community members. The medical team opened a day clinic which provided care and medicine for IDP's needing health care. Our monitoring team combed the area to assess the IDP situation and identify needs.

The hired trucks returned to Dili (approximately 8 am). They were met by police near Fatubou. On the way the passed two Toyota Kijang with militia, as well as SGI and military who shout out harrassments. Trucks stopped at the Liquisa Polres (police station). Two trucks were made to take Brimob members to Loidahar. When in Loidahar, BMP militia arrived and hit the two drivers. Brimob police did not do anything. The trucks were allowed to return to Dili after the attempts to summon the director of Etadep was unsuccessful.

In Sare, the humanitarian mission cut short its plans, responding to these signs of a security problems. We had discovered another group of 3000 IDP's in Faulara and decided to provide minimal assistance on our way back to Dili. The mission took back 10 IDP's who needed medical attention in Dili, at the recommendation of the medical team. The IDP's brought family members. In total, we had 55 NGO workers and 22 IDP's on this trip back to Dili.

Sunday, July 4 1999 Our convoy of 8 vehicles left for Faulara at 9 am after completing distribution and home visits in Sare. In Faulara we provided 3 tons of rice, other food and non-food items.. The medical team opened a clinic and provided care for more than 100 patients.

The IDP's had heard that if they received aid they would be attacked on Tuesday by militia.

UNAMET arranged a police escort with Polda in Dili who informed us that a police escort will be sent from the Liquisa police at 11.00.

By 1.45 pm the police escort had not arrived, the convoy decided to leave at 2 pm.

Approximately 3 pm, the convoy arrived in Loes, Desa Vatuboro, Kec.Maubara. Coincidentally, we passed a UNAMET carrying 2 MLO (Military Liason Officer). They agreed to escort us to Liquisa.

Between Maubara and Morai, our convoy stopped briefly to speak to the Carmalite nuns from Maubara who were passing us. At that time, a yellow truck filled with armed militia passed us, heading towards Maubara and Loes. Where we stopped, there were two men on a parked motorbike drinking beer. They shouted at us "BMP members have been killed. If you want war, let's fight." We did not respond to those calls and continued our journery home.

Approximately 4 am in Liquica Town, as we passed the house of the regent and turned right (heading South) the convoy stopped in front of the Kodim (military command) in Liquisa. The UNAMET humanitarian officer walked out of his car to talk to the MLO officers at the back of the convoy who were leaving us in Liquisa. Because of the truckful of militia which passed our convoy was heading to the direction of Maubara, the humanitarian officer was requesting that a UNAMET visit to the IDP's site was conducted there the following day. The discussion took a few minutes in order to draw a map to the location.

Because the road was at an angle, and we were blocking traffic, the convoy moved further up the road, turning left and parked in front of the KUD Kutulau (cooperative) before the Liquica cemetery. Members of our mission got off our vehicles, to buy bottled water, cigarrettes. Some of us were still in the vehicles, others standing on the road, or sitting on the stoops of the stores.

A blue minibus from the direction of the Koramil (South) filled with armed militia. The militia were waving their weapons and screaming "Kill, kill" at members of the humanitarian mission.

Indonesian police and intellegence members at the location watched this happening, without reacting.

Members of the humanitarian mission were pursued by militia with guns, knifes, and machetes. UNAMET personnel attempted to intervene, to protect the NGO workers from the attacks of the militia. Gunshots were fired.

Members of the humanitarian mission scrambled into some of our vehicles, and the UNAMET vehicle. We were pursued by the milita, who also hung onto the UNAMET car, smashed the windows. At one point a traditional gun was pointed into the car. One of our members saw a traditional gun dropped into the car in the fracas.

62 out of our contingent of 77 escaped to the Kapolres in Liquica. At the Kapolres, humanitarian mission members were treated roughly by some members of the the police as if we were the accused.

A traditional gun was found in the floor of the UNAMET car. This gun was given to the Liquisa police for evidence.

UNAMET personnel being evacuated from Liquisa joined us at the Kapolres.

After a while, the 10 members were brought from the Kapolsek. Those who were held at the Kapolsek were intimidated and interrogated.

After negotiations between UNAMET police and local police, we were allowed to leave with the UNAMET convoy to the Dili Kapolda where we would be questioned. We were short 5 NGO workers and 1 refugee.

We arrived late night in Dili. After negotiations between Kapolda and UNAMET, the humanitarian mission was allowed to leave Polda together with UNAMET personnel.

Monday, July 5 1999

The 5 NGO workers still missing returned separately by bus from Liquisa in the morning after hiding overnight. Still unaccounted for is a 70 year old diplaced man, Jose Manos da Silva Marcal, who had come with us from Sare for medical treatment in Dili.


FORTILOS Forum Solidaritas Untuk Rakyat Timor Timur

Forum Solidaritas untuk Rakyat Timor Timur (FORTILOS) dibentuk oleh sebelas lembaga dan enam individu pada tanggal 11 Maret 1998. Forum ini bekerja dengan komitmen menegakkan hak-hak asasi manusia dan menghargai hak rakyat Timor Timur untuk menentukan nasib sendiri, serta mendorong tercapainya penyelesaian masalah Timor Timur yang adil dan damai. Forum ini berangkat dari Pembukaan UUD 1945, "bahwa kemerdekaan adalah hak segala bangsa" serta Pernyataan Semesta Hak-hak Asasi Manusia yang menegaskan hak-hak semua bangsa untuk menentukan nasib sendiri.

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