Military Involvement in Christian Militia

Feb 2nd, 2006, in News, by

Evidence that military figures were involved in the formation of Christian militias in Poso.

In the continuing saga of the impending executions of three Christian men convicted of murder of Muslims during the civil strife that has plagued central Sulawesi since 1998 it has emerged, from the defence’s side, that there exists some evidence of the security forces having involvement in instigating and leading the troubles between Christians and Muslims.

The men’s lawyers, belonging to the Indonesian Advocacy Service for Justice and Peace, submitted a list to the National Police headquarters on Wednesday of 16 personnel they said were key instigators of the Muslim-Christian violence that broke out in May 2000.

The head counsel, Roy Rening, said that the 16 men on the list were linked to the Christian militia called the “Red Group”, which was led by Janis Simangunsong and Paulus Tungkanan. He added:

We hope a thorough investigation by the police can reveal the real perpetrators who masterminded the killings in the region.

and also said, of the three condemned men, Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus Da Silva, and Marinus Riwu:

(Da Silva and Riwu) were just ordinary people who met Tibo and asked him to go along with them to Poso. Tibo and his friends went to Poso because Janis had informed him that a Christian orphanage in Poso would be attacked by Muslims.

Roy said he had three bundles of testimony documents from residents supporting the convicts’ alibi and role in the attack. This looks like a final gambit to save the men who have repeatedly been denied clemency.

National Police spokesmen Brigadier General Anton Bachrul Alam said that the police would follow up the report with an investigation.

Condemned man Fabianus Tibo seems intent on dragging down as many people as possible in an attempt to prolong his life.

After having named sixteen men he claims had roles in the the sectarian violence in central Sulawesi he has now said that the Synod Council of the Christian Church in central Sulawesi (GKST) was also involved in organising Christian resistance to Muslim attacks.

Everybody knows but I don’t know why the police have never questioned them. I want to say that before we went down to Poso [to attack Muslims] we were blessed by pastors in the grounds of the Synod Council.

And he once again pointed the finger at men who were instrumental in organising the Christian militia called “Red Group”, that is Paulus Tungkanan, Erick Rombot, Limpadeli, and Angki Tungkanan.

They are the ones who should be arrested by the police. Yahya Pattiro as well, I met him yesterday, why hasn’t he been arrested?

Yahya Pattiro was at the time the Regional Secretary of the Poso district government. Tibo’s fellow accused Dominggus da Silva also “gave up” Yahya Pattiro.

One time I was in the office of the Synod Council and Yahya telephoned for Tungkanan. He was out so Yahya left a message for Tungkanan that he should block the road by which an army force was going to enter Poso, from Palopo.

5 Comments on “Military Involvement in Christian Militia”

  1. The great shame of the three men under threat of execution is that the real conspirators have not been named, not even in the list provided by Tibo, Marinnus and Dominggus. All the named people only refer to the 3rd round of fighting when the Christian militia was organized to defend themselves against the Islamic attacks. All the 16 are part of the defence effort not the original attackers. For that we have to go back to December 1998 and Easter 2000, the 1st and 2nd attacks when the police and military did nothing to protect the Christian communities against Islamic attacks. Why are not these attackers and masterminds being called to justice? But no-one was nor does it seem will be.That’s why the militia was formed. That’s why Poso will find no justice.

  2. Gravelrash says:

    Many thanks for putting this information up. Very disturbing, but it appears par for the course where Christians are concerned. Indonesia’s pain mounts.

  3. R. Patterson says:

    If these three are murdered by the Indonesian state or more correctly Islam. Then ‘fair minded’ Indonesia will wear the horrible stain of religious brutality and biased justice that is normally practiced in lesser nations. R. Patterson

  4. jivan says:

    There is a biblical mandate for taking sword in defence and against unjust and opressive movments eg luke gospel. No problem in Christians forming their own militias.

  5. oscar says:

    No Jivan, that’s not true
    we can not just take one or two verses as an excuse, we need to understand it thoroughly

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