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Home >> World
UPDATED: 15:39, August 19, 2006
Indonesia refuses to help disarm Hezbollah in Lebanon
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The Indonesian government has voiced strong objections to taking part in disarming Hezbollah as part of its mandate in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, The Jakarta Post reported Saturday.

Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono said on Friday that the Indonesian government did not want its troops involved in the disarmament of either the militia group or Israeli forces in southern Lebanon, said the report.

He alluded to the dilemma for the world's most populous Muslim nation, where there has been overwhelming support for Hezbollah and the Lebanese government and condemnation of Israel.

"We need to know where our troops will be deployed. We don't want to be assigned to disarm Hezbollah because that would be sensitive," the minister said.

Juwono said the main concern for the peacekeeping forces would be neutralizing the weapons and rocket-launching sites, but this should be done by the Lebanese troops alone.

"We will back them up through the UNIFIL so our troops will not be directly involved with disarmament on the field ... What matters is to make UNIFIL and the Lebanese military as the only ones with arms, not Israeli troops or Hezbollah. But to be there, Indonesia doesn't want to be the executors," he said.

Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda said there was no specific mention of Hezbollah in the UN Resolution 1701, which was enacted for a cease-fire and mandates the reestablishment of security in Lebanon.

"But countries who have responded to the UN's call for a peace- keeping force are asking for detailed jobs there. It's crucial because we don't want to deploy troops for missions that are politically not in accordance with our interests," he said.

Indonesia has committed to sending 1,000 troops in UNIFIL.

Source: Xinhua

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