ISS 325 War & Revolution pages:
ISS 325 War & Revolution lecture pages:
link to CYBER-READINGS-1 page Table of Contents i
link to CYBER-READINGS-2 page Introduction: States/Sovereignty/Blood/Weak States 1-24
link to CYBER-READINGS-3 page Just War/War Crimes/Genocide 25-50
link to CYBER-READINGS-4 page Human Aggression 51-81
link to War & Revolution photo page Conquest/Authority 82-102
link to AGGRESSION page Ethnic Conflict/Nationalism 103-130
link to ARMS CONTROL & DISARMAMENT page Revolution/Internal Conflict 131-172
link to IRAQ-BOMB-98 page War/Threat/Aggression 173-192
link to NATIONALISM and ETHNIC CONFLICT page U.N./Peacekeeping/Humanitarian Intervention 193-207
link to PROTRACTED INTERNAL WAR page Nuclear Weapons/Weapons of Mass Destruction 208-219
link to REVOLUTION & INTERNAL CONFLICT page Old Tests 1998/1, 1998/3 220-228
link to WAR page Syllabus and Course Information 229-234
link to Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism page
link to AFRICA: GREAT LAKES page
PLS 364 International Organizations
& Cooperation pages:
link to UNITED NATIONS & International Organizations page
link to War Crimes page
link to European Institutions page
link to PLS364 readings on International Law
link to PLS364 readings on UN Reform and Budget
link to PLS364 readings on International Law and the Use of Force
Brig. Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan, police commander,
shooting a Viet Cong prisoner in 1968 in Saigon.
HOW SERBIA ROSE AGAINST MILOSEVIC
Friday, 6 October, 2000
Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's fall from power, when it came, happened with stunning speed in one tumultuous day of mass protest. BBC News Online traces the key moments of that day and the weeks leading up to it:
A historic moment - Opposition supporters fly the flag from the federal parliament building in Belgrade
The day had begun with supporters arriving in the capital from all parts of the country
Huge crowds converged on the parliament building, where police at first fired teargas to disperse them
Protesters threw a teargas canister back at police
But the determined crowds anger turned on the secutiry forces
A demonstrator flew the Serbian flag as police cars burned
Then came the final push for the federal parliament building
Protesters climbed the building as the riot police retreated
Protesters celebrated in front of the television station building
Hundreds of thousands of Yugoslavs spent the night celebrating on the streets of Belgrade
One correspondent said there had never before been such a party in the city ... and he "had seen a few"
HOW YUGOSLAVIA WON ITS FIGHT FOR FREEDOM
By STEVEN ERLANGER and ROGER COHEN
BELGRADE, Oct. 13 Early in the day of the uprising that overthrew Slobodan Milosevic, Ljubisav Djokic received a call requesting special assistance from organizers of the opposition. Mr. Djokic, a construction worker, drives a large bulldozer, and he was asked to bring it along to a mass demonstration in central Belgrade.
Arriving in front of the federal Parliament shortly before 3 p.m. that Thursday, Oct. 5, he was confronted by riot police officers. "I thought it was going to be peaceful," he said. "But when the tear gas started and people fled, I came eye-to-eye with the police. Then I asked myself, 'Why did you come? What are you waiting for? Did you come to a parade or do you want to finish something?' "
Mr. Djokic switched on his machine and lumbered forward, crushing two concrete flower boxes before raising his big shovel to smash windows of the Parliament. As some demonstrators threw bottles of flaming gasoline inside the Renaissance-style building, he used the shovel to hoist other demonstrators into the breach.
After 13 increasingly desperate years under Mr. Milosevic, Serbia had risen. It looked chaotic. But as Mr. Djokic's summons suggests, more planning lay behind the march on Belgrade than the final tumult suggests. Still what no one could know was how ready the police officers and military would be to repel the uprising.
A close look at the rebellion reveals planning that included a careful selection of targets, penetration of the police's secret communications system, recruiting some muscular but disaffected off-duty police officers and paratroopers and the dispatch of an emissary to Budapest to inform the United States government.
"We had to have a combination of organization and spontaneity," said Vuk Obradovic, a former army general and now the leader of the small Social Democracy Party. "Mass civil disobedience requires spontaneity to succeed. But we planned this carefully. It was organized disorder, and that is one reason that in the end the police could not cope."
Two days before the uprising, Mr. Obradovic, who quit the army over Mr. Milosevic's policies, had addressed a letter to Gen. Nebojsa Pavkovic, Yugoslavia's top military commander, urging him to show restraint. "Take the right side!" he pleaded. "Take the people's side!"
A Sharp Reply
General Pavkovic chose to show him the courtesy of a reply, just one day before Mr. Milosevic fell. It was both sharp and telling. It accused Mr. Obradovic of "prejudgment of the electoral results and disobedience of the electoral procedure."
The letter made clear that on the eve of the revolt, the army command remained loyal to Mr. Milosevic, rejecting the opposition's view that Vojislav Kostunica had won the Sept. 24 presidential election outright.
As crowds poured into Belgrade the next day, Mr. Obradovic fired off a last letter to his old friend General Pavkovic, lamenting that his effort to "open your eyes" had failed. It concluded: "Our communication is ended. God help you!"
But blood was not shed in the end. This was no Leninist revolution. It paused, at a sort of Serbian halfway house, dislodging Mr. Milosevic, installing Mr. Kostunica as president of Yugoslavia, but leaving in place for now many of the regime's authorities, including General Pavkovic.
Mr. Milosevic's end came in an overwhelming display of popular anger, prepared by the hard work that spread resistance through the provinces to create a Serbian grass roots movement schooled in passive resistance and propelled to its climax by a sense that, in the words of one important organizer, Cedomir Jovanovic, "by Thursday, it was us or them."
Many feared that the malevolent magician of Serbia would conjure a route to survival yet again. He had denied Mr. Kostunica a first round victory and dictated a second round of voting that the opposition had vowed to boycott.
"I was very worried early last week that the opposition seemed to be following a course that would prevent them running a second time, but was not active enough to make a difference," said William D. Montgomery, the United States ambassador who ran an embassy in exile in Budapest.
But the concern proved misplaced. For once, it was not the opposition that had misplayed its hand; it was Mr. Milosevic.
He had manipulated the Constitution last July to call the election in September, giving Serbs a chance to vote against him. But he misread the polls and failed to steal enough votes. When he manipulated the count to deny Mr. Kostunica his victory, for most Serbs it was too much. During the protests, one of the most popular slogans was: "Take us out of this madhouse, Kostunica."
Courts offering no justice, jobs offering no money, police offering no protection, state television offering no truths and a form of rule offering no apparent purpose beyond the perpetuation of the regime had ended by convincing a majority of Serbs that somebody was crazy, and it wasn't them.
But this diffuse anger needed channeling. A student movement, Otpor (Resistance), founded in 1998, provided some of it. The arrest in the last two years of more than 1,500 of its members had produced broad disgruntlement and encouraged parents to follow their children in shedding their fear.
"We were the young of Serbia, the shield that accepted the kick and bite of the regime, allowing Mr. Kostunica to campaign calmly," said Srdja Popovic, an Otpor leader. "And we told our members to never cease quoting Borges when they emerged from jail," referring to the late Jorge Luis Borges, the Argentine writer: " `VIOLENCE IS THE LAST REFUGE OF THE WEAK.' "
Otpor's message was simple "Gotov je" "He's finished." Flush with funds from Western aid groups and governments, within three days of Mr. Milosevic's July 27 announcement of the presidential election Otpor had six tons of printed campaign material ready. The goal was clear: produce a conviction that the impossible could happen, that Mr. Milosevic could be ousted by systematically transferring fear from a long-cowed population into the very organizations that supported the regime.
Inside the army and the police, a decade of conflict had taken its toll, people close to those institutions said. Defeats in Croatia and Bosnia were followed by the humiliation of Kosovo last year. While Mr. Milosevic used the opportunity to denounce a new enemy in NATO, many young Serbs saw mass evictions and killings up close for the first time. They were especially incensed when Mr. Milosevic proclaimed his capitulation in Kosovo as a victory.
It was this sort of sentiment that helped turn old Milosevic strongholds in central and southern Serbia into centers of opposition. The disgruntlement also allowed men like Velimir Ilic, the mayor of the central Serbian town of Cacak and a particularly blunt opposition leader, to recruit successfully within the police and army and gain first-rate intelligence on police activities.
"For years, we used to gather and criticize Milosevic and go home and he was still there," said Mr. Ilic, the leader of the New Serbia party. "And this time we spat out that method because we feared it would drag out for 100 days of banging dishes with someone complaining we were keeping a baby awake. So we decided we are men, let's do it."
Mr. Ilic, who led 10,000 people, some of them armed, 90 miles north to Belgrade on the decisive Thursday, added that he had senior police agents from Belgrade and Cacak working for him, as well as off-duty paratroopers. "We knew every order coming from the Interior Ministry," he said. "We knew what they were planning. We saw their faxes."
The mayor is not disinclined to promote his role, and his bravura may on occasion make light with details. But his account is supported by other leaders who make clear that the intelligence available on police moves and hesitations was significant by the time a huge crowd converged on central Belgrade.
A Secret Vote
In Valjevo, 60 miles southwest of Belgrade, orders were received from the capital four days before the uprising to arrest four political leaders. But the police commander there, long sympathetic to the opposition, held a secret vote with his men. The vote went against the arrests.
"Milosevic did not foresee those faces in Belgrade," said Slobodan Homen, an Otpor founder. "They were not middle class faces. Those were faces with real anger in their eyes, the faces of workers and peasants who had come to the capital to finish the job."
But not everyone who could be there came. Mr. Obradovic, the former general turned opposition leader, who said his role had been to keep the army and police off balance, gave instructions that only one bus should come to Belgrade with workers from the striking Kolubara coal mine, 30 miles from the capital. The strike, which began five days after the election in September, was critical. It widened the opposition movement to the workers and frightened the regime, which needed coal from the mine to keep supplying electricity.
A personal, predawn appeal from General Pavkovic, combining entreaty and threat, failed to break the rebellion at the mine, and when police moved in on Wednesday morning, Oct. 4, they backed off when faced with a growing, angry crowd of supporters of Mr. Kostunica and the strike.
Then, on the eve of the huge demonstration in central Belgrade, Mr. Kostunica made his second visit to the Kolubara strike, and it had a triumphal feel. His prize was coming closer, and the next day, half a million people would come to Belgrade in his name. Some of them were ready and prepared to fight and die for the prize, even as those who organized "revolutionary violence" insist they kept the details from Mr. Kostunica.
The key was to keep the police from consolidating their forces. "We wanted to keep the police preoccupied in different places," Mr. Obradovic said. "That's why I said, `One bus only from Kolubara.' Our last recourse would have been to bring all Serbia to Belgrade if Mr. Milosevic cracked down."
Such a crackdown could not be ruled out. Several opposition figures received death threats early in the week, they said. A woman working in a senior position in the armed forces said that everyone in the army had been reminded before the election that Mr. Kostunica had vowed to "professionalize" and slash the size of the army. "The message was, `Think about your job before you vote,' " she said.
After the first round of voting, she continued, the new message was that everything was under control, and Mr. Milosevic would prevail.
As opposition leaders met at their headquarters on Oct. 4, the day before the march on Belgrade, the murkiness of the last 10 years in Serbia endured. But they repeated their resolve that the next day would be "D- Day," as they called it. Mr. Milosevic was given a deadline of 3 p.m. that Thursday to accept the results of the election and resign.
"We knew Thursday was the crucial day, because on Sunday, in the so-called second round, Milosevic would re-elect himself and it would all be over," said Zarko Korac, a leading opposition figure.
Targets were set that were symbols of the regime: the federal Parliament, the Serbian television building that had drummed out Mr. Milosevic's propaganda for a decade, his Serbian Social Party headquarters, a main municipal police station and the retaking of the B-92 independent radio station that had been seized by the government.
But there was nothing as precise as a battle plan.
"What we needed was a symbolic act that would liberate the people," Mr. Jovanovic said. "We knew we could not settle for less than that."
As the coordinated convoys of protesters started to roll toward Belgrade Thursday from north, south, east and west, in buses and trucks, tractors and cars one opposition leader absented himself, heading for Budapest.
That was Mr. Homen, an Otpor founder, who went to the American embassy in Hungary where he met with Mr. Montgomery, the American diplomat in charge of dealing with Yugoslavia. "I explained to the ambassador that this was the decisive day, that we needed to finish the story, and were ready to occupy the federal Parliament and the Serbian TV building," he said.
No Offer of Help
During the meeting, Mr. Homen also inquired as to what the American reaction would be if forces loyal to Mr. Milosevic fired on the demonstrators. "I was told there was no possibility of military help," he said.
Mr. Montgomery confirmed that the meeting had taken place. "If ever anybody asked, I always discouraged any notion that there could be any kind of military intervention," he said. "But I made clear that pressure had to be maintained, could not stop and they seemed to realize that themselves."
Certainly, the momentum was ferocious. As one long convoy of protesters rolled toward Belgrade from Kraljevo in central Serbia, it was confronted by a police roadblock that refused to move.
Mr. Jovanovic, who was in radio contact with the leader of the protesters, heard him turn to the crowd and say that every veteran of the Serbian wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo should come to the front. About 1,000 men stepped forward.
Then one of them approached the police chief at the roadblock and, without a word, slapped him twice across the face as he instructed him to move. In a telling illustration of how psychological power had shifted from the regime to the opposition, the police moved out of the way.
Mr. Obradovic and Momcilo Perisic, the army chief of staff fired by Mr. Milosevic in 1998, had contacts inside the high command with whom they had been in contact for weeks, and they knew that Mr. Milosevic was ordering the army to stop the columns of protesters moving into Belgrade.
By early afternoon on Thursday, as the crowds built in Belgrade, General Pavkovic, the top military commander, concluded that an order to fire would not be obeyed by his troops. "Pavkovic told Milosevic that if he ordered out the tanks, the next picture he would see would be of protesters on top of the tanks giving a flower to a crying soldier," one official said.
General Pavkovic, who had tied his career to political support for Mr. Milosevic, turned, realizing that it was better to risk being fired than hanged. The army remained in its barracks as the 3 p.m. deadline passed, and a huge crowd surged toward the federal Parliament.
In a cloud of overwhelming tear gas, demonstrators heard the following over the police communications they had penetrated: "Send us reinforcements! Send reinforcements!" The reply came back: "We are trying, wait while we try."
But soon afterward, the message from the outer ring of police around the crowd to those at the Parliament was more somber: "We don't know what to do, some of our men are putting down their weapons."
Going for Broke
Despite the tear gas, Mr. Djokic, with his bulldozer, was undeterred. "I was sure I'd go to prison for the rest of my life, so I thought, let me go clean RTS, too," he said, referring to the headquarters of Radio Television Serbia, the hated state media known as Television Bastille.
There were lines of police in the front of the building firing tear gas, and Mr. Djokic went forward three times, then stopped. Suddenly, he said, someone with a beard gave him a gas mask, "and I went on attack." Shots were fired at him, making two holes in the back window.
He crashed through the concrete of the main door of the building, and protesters rushed in.
At the Parliament, Mr. Jovanovic, a leader among the demonstrators, was wearing a bulletproof vest and was among the first of about 200 people to enter. Police fired rubber bullets he has one as a souvenir but no live rounds. The police were firing stun grenades, more tear gas and some chemical with a choking effect.
In the lower house assembly room, a police unit decided not to fight. They called their superior officer and asked permission to leave the building. "They were told to use all possible means to fight back," Mr. Jovanovic said. "But then the unit commander took off his side arm, and the others followed." They put down their weapons and riot gear and left the building.
Demonstrators swarmed in past the growing flames, and some started looting, ripping off chairs, hat racks, leather briefcases and other souvenirs, while some protesters started tossing election ballots already marked in favor of Mr. Milosevic out of the second-story window of the building, which was begun in 1907 and finished in 1936.
Zoran Djindjic, one of the top opposition leaders, was running a command headquarters from the party offices of the Democratic Alternative of Nebojsa Covic, a former mayor of Belgrade who broke with Mr. Milosevic. The office has a steel door and a television camera watching the outside. The staircase was full of beefy, short-haired Djindjic bodyguards, many of them wearing body armor, who went off on missions, some of them led by Mr. Jovanovic.
Everyone understood that the Parliament was a symbol but storming it would not make Mr. Milosevic leave, opposition leaders said. That was why the taking of the state-run news media, especially Radio Television Serbia and Politika, the state-run daily newspaper, and the main police stations was crucial.
"It was like a run on the Winter Palace," Mr. Jovanovic said. Teams moved from the building of B-92, the independent radio seized by the state, which Otpor helped liberate, to RTS, which was also set on fire, then to other state media and, perhaps most important, to the RTS studio and transmitter on a hill three miles south of the federal Parliament.
The chief editor of Politika escaped up a fire stairs and over the roof, but the head of RTS and the chief news editor were severely beaten.
A Swift Collapse
With the army inactive, the Belgrade police collapsed. About 5:30 p.m., the commanders decided they could not fight the inevitable, and by 7 p.m., the order came over the police radio: "Give up. He's finished."
Commanders made contact with Mr. Djindjic and Mr. Kostunica, promising they would only attack if attacked and would otherwise withdraw.
Mr. Obradovic was dispatched to seal the bargain, finding a frightened police commander, Gen. Branko Djuric, in his office in the main police headquarters building on 29 November Street.
At city hall, across a park from the burning federal Parliament, Mr. Kostunica swept through the huge crowd to give a speech of triumph and reconciliation from the balcony, a reluctant revolutionary who had been propelled into power. "Good evening, dear liberated Serbia!" he shouted.
In the hallway, Belgrade's new mayor, Milan Protic, a historian, could barely control his emotions. "We're living the revolution," he said, as hundreds of thousands cheered outside.
"I've been a historian all my life," he said. "I've studied the past to understand the essence of a nation's feelings and development. And this is really something else this is really living history."
One day later, about 11:30 at night, on Friday, Mr. Milosevic went on television to concede defeat in the election to Mr. Kostunica. The two men had met a few hours earlier, brought together by General Pavkovic, in a summer house in Tito's former residence on Uzicka Street in Belgrade.
They spoke alone for about 20 minutes. One of their topics, Mr. Kostunica said later, was the transitory nature of power."I talked about how power, once lost, is not power lost forever," Mr. Kostunica said. But Mr. Milosevic's long and bloody grip on the fractured state of Yugoslavia had been broken.
September 15, 1998
It is a country of 250 tribal groups. The Hausa
and Fulani in the north, the Yoruba in the southwest and the Ibo in the
southeast make up 65 percent of the population. The 1960s were marked by
a struggle for political dominance among the main ethnic groups, and a
devastating civil war almost broke the country apart in the late 1960s.
During the 1970s oil exports helped Nigeria recover economically, and in the early 1980s, with a civilian government in Lagos, Nigeria became known as a model of African democracy and prosperity. Nigerian arts were the envy of the continent. Its press was one of the freest anywhere. Nigerian diplomacy challenged the United States and Britain over issues like apartheid. The nation's currency was worth twice as much as the dollar.
But democracy in Nigeria died in 1983, and Abacha, a career soldier who became an infantryman at 18 and attended military colleges in England, the United States and Nigeria, had a role in three coups.
The generals ousted Nigeria's last civilian government in 1983. Hopes for a return to democracy were high in June 1993, when Abiola, a millionaire businessman, won an election with pledges to return Nigeria to civilian rule. But the government annulled the vote, and three months later Abacha overthrew President Ibrahim Babangida.
Gen. Sani Abacha, who died Monday, was the seventh Nigerian officer to come to power by force since the country gained independence from Britain in 1960. But even against this background, Abacha established a distinctive record of brutal rule.
Nigerian human rights groups, clandestinely active in the country and openly critical in exile, have charged that more people were arrested in his five and a half years in power than in the five decades of British rule. Abacha regularly expressed his authority through fiat or intimidation, but he rarely revealed much about himself, giving no interviews and keeping to the confines of his official mansion, known as Aso Rock. He would arrive at his office late in the day and work through the night, keeping aloof even from his own ministers and military advisers.
As Abacha was being chastised by world leaders and his government made subject to economic pressures, he sought to establish Nigeria's military might as the peace-keeping power of West Africa. In February, Nigerian troops took Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, chased out a junta and, in a seeming paradox, paved the way for the return of a democratically elected president.
In Sierra Leone, Nigerian soldiers intervened recently to restore the elected president, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, who had been overthrown, and rout a guerrilla force that has been terrorizing much of the countryside. There, people from street vendors to government officials expressed fear that disorder in Nigeria would cause that country to lessen its commitment in Sierra Leone, perhaps allowing the rebels to make a comeback.
"Abacha may have been hated in Nigeria, but he saved us here," said one Sierra Leonean journalist. "If things go badly in Nigeria, we will surely suffer again."
In other West African countries mounting concerns about stability in Nigeria have less to do with Nigerian military involvements than with fears of a huge refugee outflow.
Abiola campaigns for the presidency in 1993
July 8, 1998
JAILED NIGERIAN DIES DURING ENVOYS' VISIT
-- Nigeria's most prominent political prisoner, Moshood Abiola, died Tuesday, apparently of a heart attack, further complicating an already turbulent political situation in Africa's most populous country.
Abiola, who was 60 years old, became ill while meeting with U.S. and Nigerian officials at a government guest house in Abuja, the capital. He died shortly afterward in a hospital, U.S. and Nigerian officials said Tuesday.
ABUBAKAR MOVES TO STEM BACKLASH
Demonstrators have taken to the streets of Nigeria, angry at the death of Chief Abiola
Nigeria's military leader, General Abdulsalam Abubakar, has sacked his entire cabinet in a bid to calm the violent unrest sparked by the sudden death of jailed opposition leader Chief Moshood Abiola.
At least 10 people have been killed in clashes with police as angry protests continue in southern Nigeria, the political stronghold of Chief Abiola, who died of a heart attack on Tuesday.
Gen Abubakar has sacked all 33 members of his cabinet, but has not touched the provisional ruling council, the highest decision-making body in the country.
July 9, 1998
NIGERIA'S RULER PLEADS FOR CALM AFTER 19 DIE IN RIOTS
LAGOS, Nigeria -- Nigeria's military ruler tried to calm an angry nation on Wednesday night, after the sudden death of the opposition leader, Moshood K.O. Abiola, by agreeing to allow outside experts to take part in the autopsy and speaking, albeit in vague terms, of moving toward democracy.
But the country seems poised on a knife-edge despite the appeals for restraint.
The streets of Lagos were quiet on Wednesday night, eerily deserted as people stayed home out of fear. But debris and smashed glass littering several streets testified to the sporadic rioting that has left at least 19 people dead since Abiola, who was under government detention, died. The riots underscored the explosive resonance of his name.
Indonesian riot police clash with student protesters in front of Parliament in Jakarta Thursday. Security forces used water cannons to disperse hundreds of students protesting near the legislature.
students jeer at riot police during a protest in front of the Parliament
in Jakarta Thursday. The demonstration turned violent after vastly outnumbered
police and soldiers failed to block an estimated 20,000 marchers.
November 13, 1998
November 13, 1998
November 11, 1998
Indonesian Moslem students hold a banner which reads "Economic Reforms not only banks."
Bodies of four protesters lay in a Jakarta morgue as fellow students identified them.
Indonesian riot policemen arrested a wounded student in Jakarta yesterday after he was beaten by the police in violent clashes between students from Triskati University and security forces.
Indonesian students on the roof of the Parliament building
Tuesday waved flags and shouted for the resignation of
President Suharto. Troops ringed the building with barbed
wire came out in force wednesday to contain the any
The trouble in Jakarta is aimed at a president who has ruled for over 30 years. Suharto leaving on a trip. Suharto burned in effigy.
Son Tommy Suharto's wedding last year gave the world a glimpse of a lavish lifestyle based on tax breaks and a smoking monopoly
Students have occupied Parliament in Jakarta for three
days demanding President Suharto's ouster. The legislators
joined, stepping up the pressure, and yesterday a fresh
busload of students arrived at the complex. About 3,000 Indonesian students slept during a vigil last
night in Parliament. They were there to press a demand
that President Suharto step down.
*****Golkar delegates in their trademark yellow
jackets watch President Habibie's speech
Thursday, July 9, 1998
Reform calls in Indonesia's ruling party
Indonesia's dominant political party, Golkar, has opened a special
congress with calls from some delegates for the party to rid itself of
the influence of its patron, former President Suharto.
Other delegates called for the party to acknowledge the mistakes of the past.
Golkar is expected to appoint a new leadership and to decide how to deal with the former President Suharto and members of his family who retain powerful positions.
In the past, Golkar was in effect guaranteed victory in parliamentary elections, which it won six consecutive times.
Mr Suharto's successor, President Habibie, warned delegates they must be ready to compete with new political parties, and he urged them to undergo "real introspection into Golkar's strengths and weaknesses at the national and regional level."
September 9, 1999
Many voters had walked for hours to reach the polling stations.
In one village UN staff ordered local police to remove an Indonesian flag from the polling station.
Rebel independence leader Xanana Gusmao cast his ballot in Jakarta in a vote he said gave East Timorese "their fundamental right to self-determination."
Meanwhile in Dili Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Bishop Carlos Belo, cast his vote. "Above all we must pull our sleeves up and start working to build this country," he said.
Many East Timorese had never had the opportunity to vote and could barely contain their excitement.
January 28, 1999
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
AMBON, Indonesia -- Indonesia said Wednesday that it was willing to grant independence to the troubled province of East Timor if a majority of islanders reject an autonomy offer.
"If they want their freedom they are welcome," Foreign Minister Ali Alatas said at a news conference in Jakarta after a meeting of President B.J. Habibie's Cabinet.
In another conciliatory move Alatas said the government would transfer the resistance leader, Jose Xanana Gusmao, from a maximum-security prison where he is serving a 20-year sentence for inciting rebellion to a house that it says is an extension of the jail, in reality house arrest.
Alatas described the move as a sign of flexibility and good will.
East Timor, a former Portuguese colony, was invaded by Indonesia in 1975 and annexed the next year, a move that the United Nations never recognized. Talks between Portugal and Indonesia on the issue are scheduled to resume on Thursday at UN headquarters.
The Indonesian government is pressing negotiations on autonomy, or "special status" for East Timor. But officials said the Cabinet was prepared to ask the legislature to grant independence if autonomy is rejected.
"If this is not accepted by the mass in East Timor we will suggest to the new membership of the People's Consultative Assembly formed as the result of the next elections to release East Timor from Indonesia," said Information Minister Yunus Yosfiah.
Speaking from his house in Sydney, Australia, the East Timorese resistance leader Jose Ramos-Horta, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996, said he was skeptical about the proposal, demanding that words be first converted to deeds. Indonesia should first release all East Timorese political prisoners and withdraw its 20,000 soldiers.
Ramos-Horta said such moves would provide a "basis to start a new chapter with mutual trust."
Gusmao has said in the past a period of autonomy would be acceptable if a referendum on self-determination followed.
Faced with strong diplomatic pressure to resolve the crisis, Alatas proposed at a recent Cabinet meeting that Gusmao be transferred to house arrest.
Habibie's official policy is that Gusmao's release be linked to a comprehensive solution that involves international recognition of Indonesian sovereignty over the former Portuguese colony. After Indonesia invaded East Timor, pro-independence rebels started an insurgency, controlling much of the interior but provoking a harsh response. Credible estimates of the number of fatalities from the population of 650,000 run to 100,000 because of military action, starvation or disease.
Until recently Indonesia has refused to countenance any form of independence or autonomy, a policy that changed with the ouster of President Suharto in May, ending 32 years of iron rule that included keeping a firm lid on simmering separatist aspirations in the far-flung provinces.
A national election is scheduled for June 7.
Alatas said Wednesday that the government was convinced that a self-determination referendum after four or 10 years of autonomy "would not be a good solution" because it might lead to renewed civil war and violence.
"But if a solution of wide-ranging autonomy cannot be accepted," Alatas said, "we will take the second option, which is returning to the people's will" through the legislature.
"And," he added, "we will separate in a decent and peaceful way with East Timor."
For the quarter of a century since Indonesian troops
stormed on to the Pacific island, the people of East Timor have lived through
repression. But now President Suharto faces economic crisis and riots at
home and the Timorese believe their moment of salvation may have arrived.
At Santa Cruz cemetery, more than 100 young men and women, who dared to raise protest banners here seven years ago, were cut down by Indonesian bullets as they sheltered behind gravestones.
guerrillas fighting for independence
Most Timorese are Catholics. From Timor's lofty white cathedral, its pews packed for this and every mass, the church has worked tirelessly for a peaceful resolution. Its bishop won the Nobel Prize for his efforts and is currently carrying the message abroad. All but the island's occupiers have paid heed.
East Timorese crowded the gates of the port of Dili as they watched about 400 Indonesian soldiers board ship to leave the island Tuesday.
The Indonesian armed forces chief, General Wiranto,
has described the hoisting of separatist flags on Irian Jaya as 'treachery'.
He warned that the army would not tolerate pro-independence demonstrations in the province.
"Wherever a flag other than the Indonesian flag is hoisted there must be treachery and ABRI [the military] will not tolerate this," General Wiranto said.
Local tribes people armed with traditional weapons gathered around the raised flag of the pro-independence movement in the town of Wamena in the province.
It was later torn down by Indonesian soldiers. Around 50 people were detained, but none were reported injured.
On Monday, according to human rights groups, up to five people were killed in a similar demonstration on the nearby island of Biak.
Two others, a protester and a police intelligence officer, reportedly died in earlier clashes but the island's military chief has denied anyone was killed.
Independence calls increase
There has been a marked increase in campaigning by the pro-independence movement over the past month following the offer of limited autonomy to East Timor by Indonesia's President Habibie
However, there are few signs of concessions from the authorities in the case of Irian Jaya. Unlike East Timor, Indonesian sovereignty there is not questioned by the international community.
Indonesia took over the territory 30 years ago and has fought sporadic clashes with independence movements ever since.
According to the BBC's Jakarta correspondent the Indonesian government fears that concessions in Irian Jaya or East Timor could encourage a surge of demands for autonomy in other parts of this fragmented island nation.
The territory is the site of the world's largest copper mine and he says resentment against Indonesian rule among the Irianese has been fuelled by widespread human rights abuses and the exploitation of Irian Jaya's rich natural resources.