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Sakunar militia
Ambeno (Oecussi)

Simao Lopes

Sakunar militia supreme commander, Ambeno district

Simao Lopes, 49 in 1999, was a former sub-district head (camat) and an employee at the fisheries department. Besides holding overall command of Sakunar militia, he was also the deputy chairperson in Ambeno of the pro-autonomy political organisation BRTT.

On 24 April 1999 he led a rally in Passabe at which he threatened CNRT members with death.

On 7 September 1999 he addressed a meeting at the Ambeno military district headquarters (commanded by LtCol Bambang Sungesti) at which plans were made to attack independence supporters in Nitibe sub-district near Passabe village. Simao Lopes led one militia group the next day, and his de facto deputy commander Laurentino 'Moko' Soares led another. The Lopes group gathered at the home of Passabe police officer Gabriel Kolo, and both men addressed the large militia group before setting off. They attacked the villages of Nibin, Kiobeselo, and finally Tumin, where they met the group led by Moko Soares. Eighteen individuals were murdered in this first phase of the attack, which was later continued by Gabriel Kolo.

Simao Lopes was indicted for crimes against humanity in Dili on 21 September 2001 over his role in this attack. However, he remains in Indonesia beyond East Timorese jurisdiction.[1]

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:
Gabriel Kolo
Laurentino ('Moko') Soares
LtCol Bambang Sungesti

[1] Case 20/ 2001, Serious Crimes trial documents (


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