Created: 10/17/1978

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INDONESIA: East Timor Security Force

Disbanded . '.

Tho government hasalculated risk; inflexible implementation of the troop withdrawal timetableessation of efforts to eliminate remaining rebel forces could provide insurgents an opportunity to rebuild forces.


INDONESIA: East Tlswr Security Force Ulsbandcd

esultcries of successful military operations against Frotilin insurgents in Timor, the Indonesian Government onctober officially disbanded tho East Timor Defenso and Security Aroa (ETDSAJ command ond has initiated steps to makerovince of Indonesia. During tho transitionombined military task force at Dili--the Timorese capital--will sorve as an intermediate headquarters, supervising the withdrawal of most of0 troops in Tinor and siding the establishment of local civilian government.

Although the Indonesian forces and their Timorese nllios suffered substantial casualties without making any dramatic gains against the Frotilin rebels, tho cumulative effects of constant military pressure, the interdiction of supplies, government pacification efforts, and combathavo fragmented and demoralized the


hard-core rebels remain. Reduced to hiding in remoteand using hit-and-run tactics, these survivors ere more of an irritantecurity threat.

The Fretilin movement itself, which once commanded widespread loyalty among the inhabitants of the former Portuguese territory, is now split into sevoral compoting factions. Moderate rebel leaders still hope toease-firo under United Nations auspices and ultimately some form of autonomy, but their chancos of success appear slim. Moreover, extremists have evidently taken control of the remaining armed rebels and have alienated many Frstilin military commanders as well as tho general populace through terrorist tactics.

It is also clear, but largely unmentioned in Indonesian commentary, that the reduced level of fighting in Timor has been due in the large parturtailment of the Amy's operational sweeps as preparations advance for the troop withdrawal and the establishment af "normalization.'^ The timetable calls for withdrawingfrmy battalions from Timor by9 and evontually delegating security duties0 local police and home guards.

Although the need for maintaining large numbers of coabat troops in Timor has diminished, an inflexibleof tho government timetable, coupledessation of efforts to eliminate remaining rebol forces, could provide Fretilin the opportunity to rebuild during the coming rainy season. Djakarta views the situation as well in hand. I

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