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Indonesian army implicated in death squad killings

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Recent news has emerged from Indonesia that points to a series of political murders carried out by the Indonesian army (TNI) in 2009.

High profile Indonesian officials have been quoted by news agencies, confirming that killings of pro-independence Partai Aceh members took place. They said that these were ordered by “higher ups in Jakarta”.

The recent revelations are embarrassing for President Obama who is in the process of authorising a military spending package for the TNI, approved on the basis that they no longer targeted and killed political opponents. The Indonesian military has historically violently repressed left-wing groups and the various pro-independence movements across the country, which are proscribed under Indonesian law.

Hillary Clinton said there would be an investigation about the possible resumption of killings by TNI special forces units. However, the close relationship between the US and Indonesian military and decades of funding and training of the Indonesian army is unlikely to be severed by these revelations.