TNI chief neglects to mention Acehnese civilian casualties in report

Source – June 9, 2005
TNI chief General Endriartono Sutarto (Liputan 6)
TNI chief General Endriartono Sutarto (Liputan 6)

Alisa P, Jakarta – In a report on the results of the military operation over the two years that Aceh was under a state of emergency to members of the People’s Representative Assembly’s (DPR) Commission I, armed forces (TNI) chief General Endriartono Sutarto failed to mention the number of civilian casualties reporting only on the members of Free Acehnese Movement (GAM) who were killed during the operation.

In his report, the TNI chief said that during the second six months period of the civil emergency (November 19, 2004-May 18, 2005), 660 GAM members were killed, 696 surrendered and 505 were arrested. While on the armed forces’ side, 81 personnel were killed and 75 injured. The TNI chief also said that the TNI confiscated 646 weapons from GAM while only four of TNI’s rifles were lost. In the report however, the TNI chief did not even once mention the number of civilian casualties during the military operation. Similarly, Commission I also failed to raise any questions about civilian casualties during the operation.

According to data which was published by the non-government organisation Human Rights in Aceh however, there were as many as 248 civilians casualties over the year that the state of emergency was in place. And this does not include casualties during the period of martial law. Similar findings were reported by the National Human Rights Commission in their report on the human rights situation in Aceh.

Furthermore, the members of Commission I failed to raise questions about the operation costs during the period of martial law and the civil emergency which drained tens of trillions of rupiah from the state’s coffers. Indeed, during the first six months of martial law, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) issued a statement that they suspect 2.7 trillion rupiah was embezzled from the military’s operational costs in Aceh. To date however, the KPK itself has only acted against civil servants and has not had the courage to tackle the military, asserted the chairperson of Student’s Solidarity for the People (SMUR), Mahmudal.

[Translated by Risna.]