15 Nov 2003

Indonesia to use police instead of soldiers to protect foreign businesses

10:23 am on 15 November 2003

The Indonesian government is to change the way it provides security for foreign-owned companies.

The security minister, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, says guarding of key mining and energy sites will become the job of the police and no longer be a duty for the military.

This comes amid accusations against the military that it abused human rights and demanded that companies pay for protection.

Soldiers guarding the Freeport gold mine in Papua province came under suspicion after two American school teachers and an Indonesian were shot dead near the mine last year.

Earlier this week, the military chief Endriartono Sutarto said for the sake of professionalism he wanted to pull out hundreds of troops posted at various mines and plants in the country.