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Expressing the sense of the Congress condemning the September 6, 2000, militia attack on United Nations refugee workers in West Timor and calling for an end to militia violence in East and West Timor.

106th CONGRESS  2d Session

H. CON. RES. 395 (List of Sponsors)


September 12, 2000

Mr. SMITH of New Jersey (for himself, Mr. KENNEDY of Rhode Island, Mr. PORTER, Mr. MCGOVERN, Mr. WOLF, Mr. HALL of Ohio, Mr. PITTS, Mr. KUCINICH, Ms. MCKINNEY, Mrs. LOWEY, Ms. PELOSI, Mr. CROWLEY, and Mr. EVANS) submitted the following concurrent resolution, which was referred to the Committee on Interntional Relations


Expressing the sense of the Congress condemning the September 6, 2000, militia attack on United Nations refugee workers in West Timor and calling for an end to militia violence in East and West Timor.

Whereas, on September 6, 2000, a militia mob attacked the Atambua, West Timor offices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and brutally murdered three humanitarian aid workers, including a United States citizen, Carlos Caceres, as well as a number of East and West Timorese victims, while Indonesian armed forces and police stood by;

Whereas armed militias were responsible for widespread violence and destruction in East Timor both before the August 30, 1999, United Nations (UN) referendum and thereafter;

Whereas, notwithstanding this campaign of terror, 98 percent of registered voters in East Timor risked their lives to cast ballots in the United Nations sponsored referendum and 78.5 percent of those voting chose independence from Indonesia;

Whereas, after the September 4, 1999, announcement of the independence vote, Indonesian police, military, and militias escalated their attacks upon the people of East Timor, razing entire towns, killing at least 1,000 civilians, destroying 70 percent of the country's infrastructure, driving hundreds of thousands of people into the mountains, and forcing several hundred thousand more across the border into West Timor;

Whereas Indonesian armed forces trained, organized, and armed militia forces and, according to evidence gathered by UN personnel and local sources in West Timor, continue to provide the militias with military, economic, and logistical support;

Whereas the September 6, 2000, attack was the worst of over 100 such attacks on aid workers assisting East Timorese refugees in West Timor camps;

Whereas Indonesian military and police forces, which are solely responsible for the security of humanitarian workers and East Timorese refugees in West Timor, have repeatedly allowed militia forces to terrorize refugee camps in West Timor;

Whereas it is estimated that more than 100,000 East Timorese remain in refugee camps in West Timor, trapped by ongoing militia violence and threats of violence;

Whereas, since the September 6, 2000 attack, all UNHCR staff and other international aid workers have been evacuated from West Timor, leaving the remaining East Timorese refugees, local human rights activists, and aid workers at the mercy of the militia groups;

Whereas in recent weeks militia forces have infiltrated independent East Timor, fomenting insecurity and causing many East Timorese to flee their homes once again for the safety of larger towns;

Whereas militia attacks have claimed the lives of two United Nations peacekeepers during border operations;

Whereas elsewhere in Indonesia, particularly in Aceh, Papua, Kalimantan, and Maluku, Indonesian military and militia violence has recently increased to disturbing levels and resembles the brutal methods used to terrorize the people of East Timor and of West Timor;

Whereas Jafar Siddiq Hamzah, a New York-based Acehnese human rights lawyer who testified before the House Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights on May 7, 1998, was murdered after disappearing from Medan, Indonesia on August 5, 2000, in circumstances that strongly suggest the involvement of Indonesian security forces;

Whereas in September of 1999, in response to the devastation and violence in East Timor, President Clinton announced a suspension of United States military assistance to Indonesia, warning that the Government of Indonesia must stop the violence against the people of East Timor;

Whereas in section 589 of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act, Fiscal Year 2000, the Congress prohibited United States military training and foreign military financing for the Indonesian armed forces until six important human rights conditions (relating to refugee return, border security, and accountability for violence in East Timor) have been met;

Whereas none of those six conditions has yet been fulfilled;

Whereas more than a year after East Timor's independence vote, known militia leaders continue to wage war against the people of East Timor with impunity and militia forces have not been disarmed and disbanded, notwithstanding repeated promises by the Government of Indonesia to do so, and despite the pleas of United Nations officials, foreign governments, and human rights organizations;

Whereas the people of East Timor are diligently preparing for full self-determination and are working toward social, economic, and political redevelopment, including national elections targeted for August of 2001; and

Whereas the United States Government has committed its support to this redevelopment process, which requires peace and security: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That the Congress--

(1) expresses sincere condolences to the families and co-workers of Carlos Caceres of Puerto Rico, Samson Aregahegn of Ethiopia, and Pero Simundza of Croatia, the UNHCR staff members killed in the September 6 attack;

(2) calls upon the United States Government and the Government of Indonesia to do everything possible to ensure thorough and transparent investigations of these murders and to bring the perpetrators to justice;

(3) believes that the United States should suspend all military relations and cooperation with the armed forces of Indonesia, including a cutoff of all security assistance and joint training programs, until--

(A) the six conditions set forth in section 589 of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act, Fiscal Year 2000 are fulfilled;

(B) the disarming and disbanding of all militias operating in East Timor and West Timor is accomplished; and

(C) civilian rule and the rule of law have been established in Indonesia;

(4) calls upon the United States Government to persist in urging the Government of Indonesia to disarm and disband all militias in West Timor, arrest known militia leaders, and extradite to East Timor those who committed crimes in that country; and

(5) believes that the United States Government should continue economic and development assistance and other similar support for the people of East Timor and of Indonesia.

--- Rep Smith, Christopher H. (introduced 9/12/2000) 

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