Ablai (Indonesia)

Country: Indonesia
Details of Formation: The PGM was officially inaugurated on March 11, 1999. The group was apparently set up based on the instructions of the Kopassus, a military special unit.
Details of Termination: On October 25, the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) was established by resolution 1272 passed by the UN Security Council. The UNTAET was responsible for administration, security, and maintaining law in the transition period for an independent state of East Timor which was officially created in May 2002.
Purpose: The group was used as a front for the Indonesian military, which used it to attack and suppress Eastern Timorese pro-independence citizens. One source states that it was formed to respond to Falintil attacks.
Organisation: The group was closely linked to the military, the Kopassus and other units and officers of the army. The commander of the larger Ablai structure, which the group was part of, was Nazario Corte Real. Ranked below him was Francisco Capella Ferrao. The militia has been reported to be highly decentralised. There were signs of disagreement between the PGM’s leadership and authorities. The group received funding from the government and was also supported by Battalion 301.
Weapons and Training: The PGM was armed by the Indonesian military. It reportedly had firearms and carried grenade launchers.
Size: --
Reason for Membership: --
Treatment of Civilians: The militia is reported to have killed, terrorised and intimidated civilians who were in favour of East Timor’s independence. It prevented people from registering for a ballot and burned houses. One case of torture is reported.
Other Information: Tim Sasurat Ablai is a sub-group of the overall ABLAI militia. 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.

Human Rights Watch. 1999. “Joint Demarche Needed on East Timor Militias.” April 8, 1999.