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Indonesian president orders probe into alleged "mass-killing"


19:17, December 16, 2011

JAKARTA, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has ordered an investigation into the alleged mass killings in Lampung and South Sumatra province, a media reported here on Friday.

"The President has ordered National Police Chief General Timur Pradopo and Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto to gather facts on the Mesuji case. He also ordered the police to form a special investigation team to look into the problem and find the best solution for all," presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha was quoted by the Jakarta Post as saying.

The spokesman said that the probe would involve representatives from the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), as well as members of the local community in investigating the cases taking place in Mesuji of Lampung province and parts of South Sumatra province.

On Thursday, dozens of Mesuji residents expressed their grievances to the House of Representatives over the alleged constant violence and intimidation instigated by a local plantation company. Locals claimed that police and military personnel were part of the group of assailants.

Retired Major general Saurip Kadi, a member of the Mesuji residents' advocacy team, said at least 32 villagers had been killed since 2008.

Locals said the latest incident took place in Mesuji regency, Lampung, in November, involving disputes between locals and palm oil and natural rubber plantation firm PT Silva Inhutani Lampung.

Video recordings played at a House session on Wednesday showed violence taking place last April in Mesuji District, Ogan Komering Ilir regency in South Sumatra.

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