Cook restarts arms sales
BRITAIN AND the European Union resumed arms exports to Indonesia this week. British Aerospace can now complete delivery of 16 Hawk jets in a deal negotiated under the Tories and never revoked by New Labour. Public pressure forced British foreign secretary Robin Cook to announce a four month suspension of the arms trade last year. But the Indonesian military is still using British-made weapons to terrorise people.
Human rights group Tapol reported earlier this month that Saracen tanks were deployed against people in the Indonesian province of Aceh. Some Indonesian government ministers say “elements of the military” are stoking civil unrest to provide an excuse for a military coup. Even the US was maintaining its ban on arms sales to Indonesia at the beginning of this week.
Reballots have opened the way to bigger struggle