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Sub-area chief of staff
Sub-area command (Korem) 164
East Timor

LtCol Supadi

Chief of staff East Timor military sub-area command (Kepala Staf Korem 164/ Wiradharma)

Supadi (serial no. 28906) became chief of staff in early 1998, serving for most of the time under East Timor military resort commander Col Tono Suratman. Before that he was military district commander in Ermera, and before that again commander of Battalion 507 also in East Timor. In early 1999 he handed over to LtCol Hardiono Saroso. He should be investigated for his role in recruiting and arming pro-integration militias.

At the end of January and early February 1999 he told journalists that the military had recruited and armed militias to support the pro-integration cause, including the Mahidi militia in Covalima who had just killed six people. He said they had been given military-issue SP1 and SP2 firearms as well as weapons seized from Fretilin. 'If we don't arm them, there will be more victims on our side. It is better for there to be victims on their side. That is self-defence in line with procedure.' The militias had been given a two-week training course. He conceded this was not enough, saying they were 'quick to be emotional'. Thus far 1200 had been recruited, with recruitment planned to continue into March. He predicted that whatever the outcome of the referendum there would be 'civil war': 'Prolonged conflict will happen whether East Timor will be given autonomy or independence.'[1]

This was the first as well as the most open acknowledgements by the Indonesian military that they were arming and recruiting militias to confront independence sentiment in East Timor.

Extra Information

Current Status:
2 - Priority 2 for further investigation. Not included in any other formal list, but mentioned in other independent reports, bearing structural responsibility, but with minimal data so far for involvement in ET violence.

See map of location

This individual is also mentioned in these profiles:
LtCol Hardiono Saroso
Col Tono Suratman

[1] 'Pasukan pembunuh Indonesia (2)', Solidamor, 25 May 1999; Jon Land, 'Militias creating terror in East Timor', Green Left Weekly, 10 February 1999, quoting AAP journalist Karen Polglaze on 28 January 1999; 'Indonesian army officer says conflict inevitable in E Timor', Asia Pulse, 1 February  1999; Louise Williams, 'Aid workers quit amid fear of civil war', Sydney Morning Herald, 27 January 1999.


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