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Ironduke
10 Nov 03,, 21:13
Jakarta reviews army security jobs

Indonesia's military has said it wants to stop providing security for foreign-owned businesses.
The military's commander, General Endriartono Sutarto, said he had made the request to a cabinet meeting.

He said the military needed to concentrate on resolving conflicts.

Security agreements have been seen as controversial since two Americans and an Indonesian were killed at the US-run PT Freeport mine in Papua province, which is guarded by the army.


The US government has demanded the punishment of those responsible.

Speaking at a news conference, General Sutarto said: "We are not mercenaries. We have never signed any contract... the military needs more time to focus on conflicts that demand our attention." .

He said he had made the request to end military involvement at a cabinet meeting on 4 November, and that the government was still reviewing his proposal.

He did not say who would take over the security duties, but police are responsible for internal security.

Hundreds of Indonesian troops are posted at various mining and energy sites.

They include the PT Freeport mine in Papua, and ExxonMobil's oil and gas plant in Aceh - both are regions faced with separatist violence.

Many analysts have said Indonesia's military has made up for its under-funded status by generating income through security work.

Human rights groups have criticised the practice saying it gives the appearance that foreign governments and businesses are condoning repressive military tactics in these areas.

The proposal to end security work comes amid intense American pressure over the attack near the Freeport mine on 31 August.

Two Americans and an Indonesian died and there has been speculation that the military was involved, although no one has been arrested.

The US Senate is moving towards blocking $400,000 of aid to the US military in response to the killings.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3257699.stm