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The BBC's Richard Galpin
"Many analysts have dismissed any possibility of a coup, because the armed forces are too divided"
 real 28k

Saturday, 15 January, 2000, 07:25 GMT
US warns Indonesian generals

Mr Holbrooke says officers could face an international tribunal


The American Ambassador to the United Nations, Richard Holbrooke, has warned that Indonesia would face international isolation if the military ousted President Abdurrahman Wahid.

The warning follows reports of rumours of the army hatching plans to overthrow the president.

"We would view with the greatest possible concern any such event," said Mr Holbrooke.

" It would do Indonesia immense, perhaps irreparable, damage. I hope that those rumours are false."


The UN in East Timor The UN is investigating reports of massacres
Mr Holbrooke, who currently holds the UN Security Council's rotating presidency, also called on the Indonesian army to cooperate with an investigation into human rights abuses in East Timor.

He said the US government believed the military was "doing immense damage to Indonesia" by continuing to thwart the probe.

The ambassador warned that failure to co-operate would increase calls for an international tribunal to prosecute members of the armed forces implicated in the abuses.

Mr Holbrooke said the US would continue its Indonesian arms embargo until there is "full accountability" for the crimes, and refugees from East Timor are able to return home without fear of being attacked or intimidated.


President Wahid of Indonesia President Wahid is trying to dilute the power of the army

The ambassador's remarks come as President Wahid strives to dilute the power of an increasingly restive military.

Generals want a freer hand to control uprisings in Aceh and other areas and are angered by efforts to prosecute officers for abuses in East Timor.

President Wahid, whose cabinet includes a civilian defence minister for the first time, said on Thursday that he had asked the military to fire its spokesman, after he had openly warned the president to keep his hands off the military.

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See also:
10 Jan 00 |  Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Tough times for Indonesia's military
22 Dec 99 |  Asia-Pacific
Indonesia rejects UN Timor probe
18 Dec 99 |  Asia-Pacific
Indonesian general to help Timor probe
14 Dec 99 |  Asia-Pacific
Wahid: Generals should stand trial
29 Nov 99 |  Asia-Pacific
Indonesia 'responsible' for Timor destruction
10 Dec 99 |  Asia-Pacific
Calls for UN tribunal on Timor
27 Oct 99 |  Asia-Pacific
UN wants $200m for East Timor

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