Suharto stooges fomenting Indonesian unrest: defense minister PDF Afdrukken E-mailadres
donderdag 06 juli 2000 01:00


Indonesian Defense Minister Yuwono Sudarsono said Thursday that
stooges of former president Suharto are fomenting unrest in
Indonesia to escape justice and destabilize the government.

"We believe that the unrest is being created by people who are
supplying arms and people to areas afflicted by conflict,
particularly in the Malukus, some parts of East Timor, West Irian
and certainly in Aceh," Sudarsono told a seminar here.

He said they fear they will be implicated in "investigations now
being undertaken by the attorney general's office" into Suharto's
alleged corruption.

The allegation followed claims by President Abdurrahman Wahid has
also blamed the violence on Suharto loyalists.

Sudarsono said a similar pattern was seen during the rule of
president B.J. Habibie, who succeded Suharto after the former
strongman resigned amid widespread protests and riots.

Habibie was destabilized by "former president Suharto's followers,
both in the military as well as civilians," Sudarsono said.

"I think the pattern is now being repeated in a different form in
different places, but my hunch suggests that this is a grudge.

But the minister admitted it was difficult to find evidence of
people and arms being funnelled to create unrest because the stooges
provided money without written instructions.

"I leave it to the police to find legal evidence of how the money,
the people, the arms are being supplied to the Malukus, to try to
identify the networking and links of how these arms and supplies are
being sent from places in Java to the outer islands," he said.

The minister said he believed the same people were involved in the
bomb explosions in Medan, North Sumatra province in May, and the
1998 killing spree of suspected sorcerers in East Java.

"But I'm sure in time the police and military intelligence will have
adequate information and adequate legal evidence to bring to trial
at least the public figures and then hopefully will get the
agitators in Jakarta," he said.

Parts of Indonesia, the world's largest archipelagic nation, have
erupted in communal and sectarian violence since Suharto's
resignation, leaving thousands of dead and hundreds of thousands of
people displaced.

Separatism is on the rise on both sides of the country, Aceh in the
West and West Papua in East.

Last week Wahid announced sparked a controversy by saying he had
ordered the police to arrest several lawmakers, who he did not name,
for allegedly fuelling the recent violence and problems besetting
the country.

Many saw Wahid's statement as an act of retaliation for the
legislators' move to formally question him over the recent dismissal
of two ministers.

But in an apparent bid to avoid a showdown with angry legislators,
Wahid later backtracked and said the MPs would be questioned as
witnesses not as suspects.