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Military area chief of staff
Area command (Kodam) Udayana

MajGen Mahidin Simbolon 

Chief of Staff, Udayana command (Kasdam Udayana)

One of Mahidin Simbolon's jobs as chief of staff in Udayana military area, based in Bali but which included East Timor, was probably to provide logistical support for the East Timor militias.

Leaked Australian communications intercepts prove that Simbolon had close contacts with the militias. On 14 February 1999, militia leader Eurico Guterres phoned the Kopassus unit Tribuana to report on the condition of an injured member of the Mahidi militia. He was told: 'We know that Brig-Gen Simbolon is concerned that one of his crew is injured.' Mahidin Simbolon was close to Mahidi militia leader Cancio de Cavalho, who coined the name for his group as a tribute to the Indonesian officer.[1]

On 12 May Simbolon attended a meeting at the Dili military headquarters with East Timor commander Tono Suratman and militia commander Joao Tavares.[2]

His six assistants were all called to testify at KPP HAM hearings in December 1999. The given reason (for all except Col Endang Riswanda) was that they had been part of the Udayana tactical command (Komando Taktis Kodam Udayana) in the framework of the referendum in East Timor. They were:[3]

  • Col (Inf) Abi Kusno

Assistant for Logistics (Aslog Kasdam IX/Udayana)

  • Col (Inf) Budi Heryanto

Assistant for Operations (Asops Kasdam IX/Udayana). Born in about 1951, he graduated from the military academy in Magelang in 1974. In October 2000 he was appointed to head up the military command for West Timor (Korem 161/Wirasakti) based in Kupang, where he took special action to secure the border with East Timor. Besides having to handle East Timorese refugees angry over having lost their property in East Timor, and running a less-than-successful weapons buy-back scheme from militias, he faced local opposition to the expanded military presence he was building along the border. A new military base for batallion 744 was intended (he said) 'to anticipate disturbances from a foreign country whose ideology is different to that of Indonesia'. [4]

  • Col (Inf) Eddy Sunadi

Assistant for Intelligence (Asintel Kasdam IX/Udayana). He was afterwards promoted to BrigGen and in 2002 was a sub-area commander (danrem) in East Java.

  • Col (Inf) Endang Riswanda

Assistant for General Planning (Asrena Kasdam), Kodam IX/Udayana). Born in about 1949, he graduated from the military academy in 1972.

  • Col (Inf) Hamdani

Assistant for Territorial Affairs (Aster Kasdam IX/Udayana). Born in about 1951, he graduated from the military academy in 1974.

  • Col I Ketut Redeng Warjana

Personal Assistant (Aspers Kasdam IX/ Udayana, serial no. 25379)


Mahidin Simbolon (serial no. 27155) was born in North Sumatra on 2 May 1951. He graduated from the military academy in 1974. Fought in Operasi Seroja, the invasion of East Timor, and has since then been there on six tours. Has spent time in Kopassus as well as Kostrad - more in the latter apparently. In 1992 he was SGI commander in Dili - it was a newly formed unit under Prabowo. He was involved in the operation that captured Xanana on 20 November that year. He later took over the East Timor command (1995-97), after Kiki Syahnakri. In August 1998 he is mentioned, together with Zacky Anwar Makarim, as 'the army’s most experienced officers in covert operations' and 'two of the men most intimately involved in East Timor in recent months'.[5]

Extra Information

Current Status:
D - Dunn. The report of James Dunn, consultant to the Untaet Prosecutor General Mr Mohamed Othman, April 2001.

See map of location

This individual is also mentioned in these profiles:
MajGen Adam Damiri
MajGen Zacky Anwar Makarim
LtGen (ret) Prabowo Subianto Djojohadikusumo
Col (Pol) Andreas Sugianto
MajGen Syahrir MS

[1] Hamish McDonald, 'Australia's bloody East Timor secret', 'Silence over a crime against humanity', Sydney Morning Herald, 14 March 2002. Mahidi's other meaning is an acronym from the Indonesian words meaning 'Live or Die for Integration'.

[2] '300 biarawan "Long March" di Timtim', Media Indonesia, 14 May 1999.

[3] 'Daftar nama perwira tinggi yang akan dibela Muladi', TNI Watch! 12 December 1999. The seniority of these assistants, as compared with the assistants of his superior officer Adam Damiri, is a little puzzling.

[4] 'Kafemanu, NTT: Markas militer di atas kuburan', Tempo, 26 March - 1 April 2001.

[5] John McBeth, 'East Timor is about to vote; So is Indonesia's military letting go?', Far Eastern Economic Review, 2 September 1999.


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