FAO Newsdesks -Wednesday 24 November 2004
UK arms companies market into Indonesian war zones
Today, Wednesday 24th November, Indonesia hosts its first ever arms fair in Jakarta, with over 250 companies attending  including UK based Rolls Royce  and a subsidiary of BAE Systems, Atlas Elektronik . Arms from UK based companies have been used against civilians and insurgents in the conflicts of West Papua and Aceh. Campaigners opposed to arms exports and Indonesian civil rights group TAPOL called for an immediate arms embargo.
Nicholas Gilby speaking on behalf of Campaign Against Arms Trade and TAPOL, the Indonesian Human Rights Campaign, said, "Arms companies from around the world, including the UK, are rushing to sell arms to the Indonesian military. The supply of weapons needs to be curtailed so that peaceful solutions for Aceh and West Papua can be pursued. We call on Governments of all nations to stop these companies' exports with an arms embargo. Indonesia's arms purchases have been used for internal repression in Aceh and West Papua, not external security. The Indonesian Army has used most of its foreign-supplied weapons in the war in Aceh since May 2003, where atrocities against civilians have been committed."
Further information contact: Campaign Against Arms Trade 020 7281 0297
The arms fair lasts until Saturday 27 November and is expected to be opened by new President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The fair is designed to meet an "urgent need for the [Indonesian] Armed Forces to review its defence capabilities to meet changing regional and international strategic developments" (The Jakarta Post, 23 November 2004).
Companies known to be exhibiting at Indo Defence (this is not an exhaustive list by any means) are:
Atlas Elektronik (Germany)
Brahmo Aerospace (Indian-Russian joint venture company)
Daewoo Heavy Industry and Machinery Ltd (South Korea)
Daimler Chrysler (Germany)
DRB-Hicom Deftech (Malaysia)
FORCE WARE (Germany)
Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) (Germany)
Kazan Helicopters (Russia)
Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd (South Korea)
Mils Electronic (Austria)
Oerlikon Contraves (Switzerland)
Rolls-Royce International (UK)
Steyr Mannlicher (Austria)
Teijin Twaron (Netherlands)
The Russian arms export agency Rosoboronexport, is by its own admission marketing a formidable variety of ground attack aircraft, helicopter gunships, armoured personnel carriers and tanks. PT-76 tanks, which are among its exhibits, have been used in the war against Aceh in 2003.
Rolls-Royce manufactures military engines which are found in all Indonesia's Hawk aircraft previously supplied by BAE Systems.
BAE Systems, which has supplied the Indonesian Armed Forces since the 1970s, has a German subsidiary Atlas Elektronik. Indonesia has used its BAE Systems Hawk aircraft in counter-insurgency operations to intimidate people in East Timor, West Papua and Aceh.