Sunday, February 27, 2005

U.S. to resume Indonesian military training

The United States is to resume training the Indonesian armed forces, officials announced on Saturday.

Congress suspended the training in 1992, when the Indonesian military launched a bloody crackdown against pro-independence protesters in East Timor.

The sanctions were further tightened in 1999, after the Indonesian army was accused of killing about 1,500 people in East Timor in a bid to prevent the territory from gaining independence.

The ban was written into law by the U.S. Congress in 2002, when U.S. lawmakers insisted that generals in Jakarta were blocking an investigation into the killing of two U.S. school teachers in Indonesia's Papua province.

The decision 'caps a quiet lobbying campaign by top Pentagon officials led by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz.'

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