Aid agency calls for economic sanctions against Indonesia

 CAFOD is calling on Britain to push for international economic assistance to Indonesia to be conditional on Jakarta ending violence in West Timor and other parts of Indonesia. In letters to the Rt Hon Claire Short MP, Secretary of State for International Development, and to the Rt Hon John Battle MP, Foreign and Commonwealth Minister, CAFOD and other UK agencies say actions not words are necessary to prevent the complete breakdown of law and order in Indonesia. The evacuation of all international aid and humanitarian workers, following the murder on 6 September of three UNHCR staff, has left 100,000 refugees at the mercy of the pro-Indonesian militias who are free to keep up their reign of terror with impunity in both West Timor and the Moluccas. CAFOD say the situation is close to anarchy and the Indonesian government has failed to stop the violence or to disarm and disband the militias. Aid agencies have already called on the British government to impose an embargo on arms sales and military co-operation and to press for an international tribunal to try those responsible for crimes against humanity in East and West Timor. They say economic assistance must be withheld unless the Indonesian government meets the following conditions: * It disarms and disbands all military groups in West Timor and removes them from the refugee camps. * It restores law and order in the territories, carries out an independent investigation into the recent violence and brings to trial those involved. * it acts in accordance with its international obligations to ensure the safe repatriation of all East Timorese refugees who wish to return home. CAFOD is urging Clare Short to demand action along these lines when she visits Indonesia next month. CAFOD is also calling DFID to support a postponement of the Consultative Group on Indonesia (CGI) meeting.

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