Sakunar (Indonesia)

Country: Indonesia
Details of Formation: Apparently the group was already active in 1998 but it was formally inaugurated on May 1 in 1999. A major increase in activity was recorded in April and May 1999 after Sakunar received financial resources and organizational benefits.
Details of Termination: The group’s leader was arrested on 7 February 2000. After this time there are no more operations reported and all sources after that date speak of the group in the past tense. The leader was sentenced to jail on 2 April 2000 and together with other group members indicted before court.
Purpose: The group was used to perpetrate attacks in East Timor. It also manipulated elections by intimidating public employees to vote for Indonesia in the 1999 referendum.
Organisation: The PGM was subordinated to the military and supported by the armed forces, the police and civilian authorities. It received financial assistance from various individuals linked to the military.
Weapons and Training: The group was armed by the military (Kopassus) and is described as trained.
Size: --
Reason for Membership: Looting provided opportunities to materially benefit from membership which may have been an incentive to join.
Treatment of Civilians: Sakunar was responsible for human rights violations including the killing of civilians and looting. It also attacked and harassed East Timorese and was responsible for a massacre there. At its inauguration people in favour of independence were beaten and threatened.
Other Information: For more information see book “Masters of Terror – Indonesia’s Military and Violence in East Timor”.
References: Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD.