21 Aug 2008

NGO welcomes Indonesian military commander's removal from Papua

2:29 pm on 21 August 2008

The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network, or ETAN, has welcomed the removal of Colonel Burhanuddin Siagian from his command in Papua.

A leading Indonesian military officer, Siagian faces two indictments in East Timor for crimes against humanity committed in 1999.

The Colonel has been the target of an international campaign urging his removal from Papua and calling for his trial.

Last year, as regional military commander in Papua, he issued death threats against anyone daring to demonstrate their support for Papuan independence.

It is yet be confirmed whether Siagian will be transferred to another Indonesian province.

However ETAN's John Miller says that while his removal from Papua is a welcome move, Jakarta should take the next steps and suspend him from any command and then hand him over for trial for the crimes he committed in East Timor.