Indonesia: September 4, 1999


Indonesia plans to reorganize its Marine Corps into two commands (East and West). The current force of 15,000 Marines will be increased to 22,800 by next year.--Stephen V Cole

September 3; Unrest grows in separatist Aceh province. Nearly 50,000 refugees are fleeing army operations. Some 73 of these refugees have died from the rigors of their flight. Police have fired over the heads of large groups of demonstrators. 

September 2; Anti-separatist militias in East Timor rum amok, killing and injuring locals and foreigners. The situation is chaotic, with many foreigners fleeing the area. All journalists have been targets of the militia wrath. Police and army troops (over 10,000 men) in East Timor have generally stood by as the militia killed and injured people. The government has said it will send 300 more police to East Timor and order troops already there to restore order.

August 31; U.N. voting monitors find themselves surrounded, harassed and sometimes attacked by anti-separatist militiamen. The militias, sensing that the large turnout for the independence referendum the day before indicates a vote to separate East Timor from Indonesia, are taking out their anger on journalists, anyone celebrating independence, and foreigners.


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