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District commander
District command (Kodim) 1637

LtCol (Inf) Muhamad Nur

Military district commander (dandim), Ermera (Kodim 1637)

Muhamad Nur (serial no. 29478, military academy graduating class of 1982) is responsible for a wave of killings that took place against pro-independence supporters in Ermera district in April 1999, before the arrival of Unamet. In the middle of April at least six were killed in the remote village of Talimoro. Then in the third week of April at least seven local CNRT leaders were shot dead by soldiers from the Ermera Kodim. Among them were Antonio da Lima, a local councilor, and village head Bartholo Borromeu.[1] He is listed in one report as a possible war crimes suspect.[2]

Indonesian authorities were initially unsuccessful in forming paramilitary groups in the Ermera region (30 km southwest of Dili) because the cash payments they offered did not induce people. Ermera is richer than many other areas, receiving $US30 million a year for coffee.[3] Much of the early violence in April 1999 was conducted directly by the military, because locals were reluctant to leave the coffee business to join militias.

The dominant paramilitary group in this area was reported to be Darah Integrasi, led in practice by a low-ranking TNI officer on 'civilian duty' and simultaneously the Letefoho village head, Antonio dos Santos. Other reports mentioned Naga Merah and Tim Pancasila. The military district chief of staff and the district intelligence chief, who would have together controlled these militias, were respectively Capt (Inf) T Benny and Lt (Inf) Florindo Henriques.[4]

  • Carlos Soares, Darah Integrasi militia member from Letefoho, was on 31 May 2001 sentenced to 15 years 6 months prison by the Special Panel for Serious Crimes of the Dili District Court for arbitrarily shooting dead an old man named Luis de Deus on 10 September 1999 in Letefoho village. Soares said he was acting under TNI orders.[5]
  • On 16 July 2001 the Panel for Serious Crimes sentenced a man to 15 years prison for murdering a local Unamet staff member on the orders of the military. Augostino da Costa, from Lasau village near Atsabe and a member of the Tim Pancasila militia, was found guilty of murdering Manuel de Oliveira (3), a teacher from Lasau and a Unamet polling officer, at Lasau on 31 August 1999. Da Costa and his accomplices were acting under orders from the commander of the Lasau village military post, among them NCO (Babinsa) Paul.[6]

Muhamad Nur was appointed to this command in December 1997. After the Indonesian withdrawal from East Timor he assumed command in the military district of Alor, near Flores.[7]

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:
LtCol Saripudin

[1] 'The dismissal and indictment of TNI officers for human rights violations in East Timor', Tapol, 16 June 1999.  The second Ermera massacre was also described in The Observer, 25 April 1999. See also Helene van Klinken, 'Taking the risk, paying the price: East Timorese vote in Ermera', pp.91-107 in Richard Tanter, Mark Selden and Stephen R Shalom (eds), Bitter flowers, sweet flowers: East Timor, Indonesia and the world community, Rowman & Littlefield, 2001, pp.93.

[2] 'Prajurit Yonif 406/Ck digaji uang palsu', TNI Watch! 9 December 1999.

[3] John Martinkus, 'The never ending nightmare', The Bulletin, 4 May 1999.

[4] Helene van Klinken, 'Taking the risk', p.92; Brian Woodley, 'Red and White Terror, The Weekend Australian, 1-2 May 1999;

[5] Case 12/ 2000, Serious Crimes trial documents (

[6] Case 7/ 2000, Serious Crimes trial documents (

[7] 'Dandim Sikka, Manggarai, Alor and E. Flores transferred' [English translation],  Pos Kupang, 11 April 2000.


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