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Gabriel Kolo [Colo]

Village chief, Passabe; police officer; Passabe commander of Sakunar militia

Gabriel Kolo, aged 50 in 1999, simultaneously held the positions of Passabe village chief, Passabe police officer, and Passabe leader of the Sakunar militia. He was indicted in a Dili court for crimes against humanity over his role in the Passabe massacre of 8-10 September 1999.[1]

A large group of militiamen gathered at his house on 8 September, and he and Sakunar supreme commander Simao Lopes led them in an attack on Nibin, Kiobeselo, and Tumin. Another group of militias taking part in this attack was led by Laurentino 'Moko' Soares.

A Sakunar militia leader who joined in this attack pleaded guilty in May 2003 to the crime of murder as a crime against humanity for the death of Domingos Kolo. He was Quelo Mauno (alias Agostinho Atolan) aged approximately 42, Sakunar commander in Naetuna village next to Nibin.[2]

Gabriel Kolo and two soldiers, Sgt Anton Sabraka and Sgt Andre Ulan (see LtCol Bambang Sungesti), then rounded up a large group of surviving villagers who had been unable to flee and forced them across the border to Inbate village in West Timor. During the rest of the day and until the late afternoon of 9 September, militias led by these three men sorted their detainees by age and educational ability. About 80 relatively educated young men were then tied up and marched back across the border and along the riverbank towards Passabe. At about 1am the same militias massacred 65 of their prisoners, while others escaped with serious injuries. The same three men then ordered villagers from Passabe to bury the bodies in a mass grave that same morning, 10 September, threatening them with death if they should talk about what they had seen.[3]

Earlier, Gabriel Kolo and 14 policemen took part in arresting and beating 43 CNRT members in Passabe sub-district on 18 April 1999. The men were detained at the Passabe police station until 25 April 1999.

Two members of the Sakunar militia in Passabe were charged with crimes against humanity in Dili for murdering two villagers during a Sakunar attack on Naetuna village on 9 September 1999. Umbertus Ena and Carlos Ena are both in detention in Dili.[4]

Extra Information

Implicated in Events:
Passabe - 10/09/1999 - Massacre at Passabe, Ambeno (Oecusse enclave)

Current Status:
T - Committed for trial in East Timor, some already sentenced.

See map of location

This individual is also mentioned in these profiles:
Simao Lopes
Maj (Pol) Wilmar Marpaung
Laurentino ('Moko') Soares
LtCol Bambang Sungesti

[1] Jill Jolliffe, 'East Timor justice suffers in the big picture', Asia Times, 5 October 2001; Case 20/ 2001, Serious Crimes trial documents (

[2] ‘Sakunar militia leader in East Timor pleads guilty to crimes against humanity’, JSMP press release, 22 May 2003.

[3] 'Report on human rights violations during 1999, Oecussi district',Dili: UN Human Rights Unit, no date;  Case 20/ 2001, Serious Crimes trial documents (; John Aglionby, 'Troops charged over Timor "extermination"', The Guardian, 28 September 2001.

[4] Case 5/ 2002, Serious Crimes trial documents (


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