Indonesia: September 29, 1999



The US and UN told Indonesia that if there were any problems from the Indonesian military or police when 230,000 East Timorese refugees were brought back from West Timor, the political and economic penalties for Indonesia would be severe. Indonesia, although unable to control anti-independence factions in East Timor, has agreed to let the UN pretty much take control of East Timor.

September 29; Religious violence between Moslems and Christians in and around Ambon (on the island of Maluku) continues. Two people were killed on the nearby island of Saparua. In the last three months, at least 217 have died and over 600 injured  in the violence. Over 1500 buildings have been damaged or destroyed. Violence during the first three months of the year killed 350, followed by three months of relative peace. 

September 29; PEACEKEEPERS FOR EAST TIMOR: AUSTRALIA will provide the largest contingent, 4500 troops including the 1st Infantry Brigade, a dozen C-130s, a dozen S-70 Blackhawks, and a naval task force.
PORTUGAL is sending two infantry battalions (1000 troops), a C-130, and four helicopters.
BRITAIN is sending a company of 250 Gurkha troops and the destroyer Glasgow.
NEW ZEALAND is sending the 1st Battalion of the Royal New Zealand Rifles, a company from the Special Air Service, some helicopters, and the frigate Te Kaha.
ITALY is sending 600 personnel, including a company from the 187th Parachute Regiment, and the amphibious ship San Giusto (which will provide medical support for the entire force).
FRANCE is sending 500 troops and the frigate Vendemiaire.
CANADA is sending 600 personnel (a reinforced infantry company and four C-130s).
PHILIPPINES will send 600-1200 engineers and medical personnel.
THAILAND is sending 1,000 infantry and 500 other troops, including three warships and a C-130.
SOUTH KOREA is sending an infantry battalion.
SINGAPORE is sending 250 medical personnel and two amphibious vessels.
OTHERS: Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Pakistan, Russia, and Sweden have promised to send troops and/or support but have not specified what they will send.--Stephen V Cole

September 28; Indonesia expressed "deep regret" for the loss of life in East Timor while under Indonesian administration. Meanwhile, over the last few days, violence by anti-independence vigilantes killed in and around Dili. Five were clergy or Catholic church officials. Rumors abound of thousands of anti-independence militia massing in West Timor for an invasion of East Timor, or a longer term guerilla war. Meanwhile, the lawless atmosphere throughout East Timor has made it difficult to deliver aid to starving and sick refugees. 

September 27; Hundreds of Indonesian soldiers refused to leave East Timor with their units. Most of these were East Timorese, and many kept their weapons as they melted into the local population. Some were anti-independence, but most were not.

September 26; Peacekeepers urged anti-independence militias to surrender their weapons and disband, but there were few takers. With fewer than 4,000 troops on the ground, the peacekeepers have not ventured beyond the outskirts of the East Timor capital, Dili. In the area beyond, lawlessness and mayhem prevailed.




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